More than a month after he was acquitted of a terrorist threats charge, Kevin Lavern Briggs, 56, says he finally got his gun and his permit back. Briggs was ordered to surrender his Kel-tec 9mm pistol and his permit to carry last year, after he was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on the evening of April 1, 2013. On that night, Briggs says he was frightened by a dog that was standing on its hind legs, pulling against its leash while being held by its owner. Briggs, who walks with the help of a cane, says the dog was four or five yards from him, so he pulled his gun and pointed it at the dog and threatened to shoot. The two people walking the dog say they became frightened when they noticed Briggs pointing the gun in their direction.
Briggs, who says he’s been a permit holder since 2011, says he’s considering legal action because he says it took too long for him to get his gun and permit back.
Attorney’s fees awarded by a federal court judge last week have pushed the total Minneapolis payouts over Officer Michael Griffin’s two excessive force lawsuits to $410,653.33. Judge David Doty awarded $145,653.33 in attorney fees after a jury already awarded plaintiff Jeremy Axel $125,000 in compensatory and punitive damages late last year. Axel sued Griffin and the city after the officer punched Axel on Nov. 5, 2011. According to Doty’s order, Axel’s attorneys originally asked for more than $200,000.
Earlier this year, the city agreed to pay a $140,000 settlement – including attorney’s fees – in an excessive force suit brought by Ibrahim Regai. Regai claims Griffin knocked him out with a punch in May of 2010.
Griffin, who was awarded the Medal of Valor in 2013, has been the subject of five internal affairs investigations.
An MPR News analysis of data from the Minneapolis City Attorney shows the city has paid out more than $21 million to resolve misconduct lawsuits and claims during the last decade.
The Minneapolis City Council voted 11-2 this morning to reappoint City Attorney Susan Segal. One of the two “no” votes came from Ward 2 council member Cam Gordon, who has expressed disagreement with some of Segal’s legal opinions, particularly her take on the Vikings stadium funding proposal. Segal has said the use of $150 million in city tax revenues for the Vikings deal is supported by state law. Gordon and others say the use of city tax dollars for a stadium violates the city charter. Gordon said today that, as in past instances where he has voted against the appointment of a department head, he will have no problem working with Segal.
The other “no” vote came from 5th Ward council member Blong Yang. Yang said he also would still have a good working relationship with Segal. However, he sounded frustrated that he had to say that out loud. “A yes or a no vote should just mean a good relationship in the future anyway,” said Yang.
Alondra Cano, who represents the 9th Ward and voted to approve Segal’s reappointment, said she didn’t want to dwell on Segal’s stadium opinion. “I do not feel like I need to hold anyone hostage to the Vikings stadium decision,” said Cano. “I think that was of a previous council. And I will not drag that into this particular decision for myself or for our ward residents.”
Other council members offered enthusiastic support for Segal. They mentioned Segal’s focus on increasing convictions for domestic violence offenses, pension reform and defending ranked choice voting against a legal challenge as reasons for approving her reappointment.
The city is negotiating to try to reopen Nicollet Avenue. But large segments of the surrounding community were never in favor of closing the street, and they left a mural on the back of the Kmart store as a testament to their opposition. Read more →
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek will make his re-election announcement from a restaurant in northeast Minneapolis tonight. He was first elected in 2006 and reelected in 2010. During his tenure as Sheriff, Stanek has been a part of conversations between law enforcement officials from across the country and President Obama over measures to combat gun Read more →
I love to understand how stuff works. So when I recently had the opportunity to peek into the world of crime-solving, I jumped at the chance. You can’t help but wonder if all those crime shows on television have it right. How can you possibly solve a complicated murder-mystery in an hour — minus 20 Read more →
When it comes to the freight trains that run along part of the proposed Southwest light rail line, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park don’t agree on much. Both cities want the light rail project to go forward, but neither one wants to be stuck with the freight traffic. The polarization has become so intense that Read more →
Last year, I blogged about some of the hundreds of gun-related cases prosecuted in Hennepin County. I’ll keep following county gun cases this year too, and will update The Cities each month with some noteworthy items. Here’s what I found in February: Minneapolis police say a man with a permit to carry a handgun crashed Read more →
Metro Transit started trial runs of Green Line trains this week in preparation for the line’s June 14 opening. Things didn’t go so smoothly this evening when one of the trains partially derailed in downtown St. Paul. The front wheels of the train were several feet from the tracks near 12th and Cedar Streets. Crews Read more →
You can hear 17-year-old Paul Thao grin over the phone when he tells you it’s his first time to the nation’s capital. “My very first time,” says Thao, of St. Paul. “I’m so happy to be here.” The Harding High School junior is one of nine young delegates from across the United States to present Read more →