St. Paul to pay $400K in police brutality caseby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The St. Paul City Council will meet on Wednesday afternoon to approve a $400,000 settlement to a mother and son in a police brutality case, which is tied for the largest settlement in St. Paul city history.
The incident occurred on Oct. 28, 2010, when St. Paul police executed a search warrant for cocaine at the Snelling Avenue house of Daniela Hobbs and her son Larelle Steward.
Steward complied with police orders to "get on the ground" but told police his mother could not move as quickly because of a recent illness, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court of Minnesota.
Police repeatedly kicked Steward in the back of the head, breaking his nose, then covered Steward's head with a pillowcase, according to the complaint.
Although Hobbs was on the ground, the complaint stated that police shot a "flash-bang" grenade at her, which caused third-degree burns to her lower body.
The police did not find any cocaine.
The $400,000 settlement was signed by St. Paul Assistant City Attorney Cheri Sisk, Steward, Hobbs and lawyer Robert Gardner on Oct. 25, 2012.
As part of the settlement, Steward and Hobbs agreed not to "go to the media to comment on this settlement." If approached by the news media, they also agreed not to "negatively characterize this settlement or make any disparaging remarks regarding the city of St. Paul and its officers."
St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing said the settlement with Steward and Hobbs is tied for the largest settlement in city history.
"While we admit no fault at this time, we do acknowledge that the plaintiffs' injuries are serious and permanent," Grewing said. "In order to mitigate the city's risk, we had to take into account what a jury would do if this case were in their hands."
St. Paul Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Paulos said police are looking into the allegations about officer misconduct.