Vikings Fan Sues Minneapolis Police, City Claiming Excessive Force

August 10, 2017 02:50 PM

A Vikings fan is suing the City of Minneapolis and several Minneapolis police officers for excessive force after being acquitted on criminal charges related to the December 2016 incident.

Anatascio Lopez, who is from Texas, came to Minnesota for the Vikings Dec. 1, 2016, game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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According to a criminal complaint, Lopez was being escorted from the stadium by two Minneapolis police officers when he "attempted to grab the officer's TASER."

Surveillance video from inside U.S. Bank Stadium, obtained by KSTP, shows the officers tasing Lopez and striking him with a closed fist as they try to put him in handcuffs.

RELATED: Texas Man Sues City of Minneapolis, Vikings after December Assault

Lopez, who spoke with KSTP hours after the not guilty verdict, admitted to drinking that day at the game and said he "didn't remember much," but looks at the video and begins to remember what happened.

"I see myself getting tased, several, several times," Lopez said. "I see myself getting kicked, or kneed and punched in the face."

Lopez is represented in the criminal and civil case by Michael Nadimi, a Minneapolis attorney.

"The most telling piece of evidence was the surveillance video," Nadimi said. "We don't believe the fact that he was drinking justifies what was done to him. It's our belief that what happened that day was completely excessive and unreasonable given the circumstances."

Dr. James Densley, an associate professor at Metropolitan State University, reviewed the surveillance video. He studies police training and use of force.

"From a public perception, people will look at a video like this and they will no doubt be appalled by what appears to be a violent act," Densley said. "It's the closed fist hits and it's also the knees that which are deployed."

Lopez said he decided to file a federal civil rights lawsuit because he doesn't want the same thing to happen to anyone else, especially the men and women he said he met in jail in Minneapolis.

"When I was in there, I met a lot of people that said this happens to them," Lopez said. "But they told me, if you have it on video or something, you need to do something about it. Because it happens to a lot of people here. I want the voice of those people heard."

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal issued a statement that reads, in part, "The City...will be defending the City's interests."

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority declined to comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.

Credits

Kirsten Swanson, Tim Vetscher

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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