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.