Guard sues Minnesota State Patrol for arrest during protests

Jun 1, 2021, 10:20 AM | Updated: 11:04 am
The family of Daunte Wright gathers on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, Tuesday, M...

The family of Daunte Wright gathers on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. Wright was fatally shot earlier this year by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

(AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Black man who worked as a security guard for a CNN crew covering protests in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death last summer is suing two Minnesota State Patrol officers, accusing them of violating his civil rights and unlawful detention, his attorneys announced Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court last Thursday on behalf of Michael Cooper, a 64-year-old retired veteran of the Illinois State Police. Cooper was jailed for nearly 20 hours on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and violating a curfew, but he was never charged, the complaint says.

The lawsuit says Cooper was jailed even though he had a CNN press credential and a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm, and even though journalists were exempt from the curfew imposed during the unrest.

Cooper’s arrest followed the arrest of a Black CNN reporter at the protests one day earlier. CNN hired Cooper to protect its news crews after that incident. The lawsuit says Cooper was arrested after officers began firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd and as he tried to guide the news crew to a safer area. White journalists who were nearby were not arrested after either incident, the complaint said.

The lawsuit names a state trooper and a State Patrol official who Cooper’s attorneys believe is a captain.

“We disagree with the allegations and look forward to presenting the facts in court,” said Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, which includes the State Patrol.

Contrasting with the lawsuit’s allegations, Trooper Patrick Kelly wrote in two field reports that Cooper had no credentials on him to prove that he was working for CNN, nor a permit to carry a weapon, and that there were no cameras or news crew members nearby. Kelly wrote that Cooper disregarded commands to leave the area. He wrote that Cooper was ordered to lay down on the ground and was arrested after another trooper spotted that he was carrying a gun.

Cooper is being represented by the firm of civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who also represents the Floyd family. Cooper is seeking over $1 million in damages. CNN is not a party to the case.

“How many times will the country need to see this script play out, where a Black man is treated differently by police than other people in the same situation?” attorney Christopher O’Neal said in a statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              People take a knee during a moment of silence on the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minn. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
            
              Ben Crump, center, the civil rights attorney representing the family of George Floyd, speaks to reporters after they met with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., about police reform legislation, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
            
              The family of Daunte Wright gathers on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. Wright was fatally shot earlier this year by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

AP

Associated Press

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the midst of an election that’s more of an embarrassment than a model. Barely 11% of voters turned out in the first round of parliamentary elections last month, boycotted by opposition Islamists and ignored by […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Philippines probes labor abuses in Kuwait after new killing

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government said Saturday it will take steps to assess and prevent abuses including rape and maltreatment of Filipino workers in Kuwait, after a housemaid was killed and dumped in a desert in the oil-rich emirate. The remains of Jullebee Ranara were flown home Friday night from Kuwait, where the […]
11 hours ago
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaks during a conference in Tripoli, Libya, Saturday, Jan. ...
Associated Press

Italy, Libya sign $8B gas deal as PM Meloni visits Tripoli

CAIRO (AP) — Italy’s prime minister held talks in Libya on Saturday with officials from the country’s west-based government focusing on energy and migration, top issues for Italy and the European Union. During the visit, the two countries’ oil companies signed a gas deal worth $8 billion — the largest single investment in Libya’s energy […]
11 hours ago
FILE  - A view of a Flybe flight departing from Manchester Airport, Manchester, England, Jan. 13, 2...
Associated Press

Flights canceled as UK airline Flybe sinks into bankruptcy

LONDON (AP) — Struggling U.K. regional airline Flybe collapsed for the second time in three years Saturday, putting jobs on the line and leaving passengers stranded. The airline initially slumped into bankruptcy in March 2020, shedding 2,400 jobs, as coronavirus restrictions decimated the travel industry. It relaunched in April last year, flying many of the […]
11 hours ago
CORRECTS THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S NAME TO KWIYEON HA - Staff of Kyodo Senpaku Co. holds canned whale meat...
Associated Press

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three […]
1 day ago
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Guard sues Minnesota State Patrol for arrest during protests