Lawsuit filed against Minneapolis police after man seriously injured by flash bang grenade in March
A bystander who was seriously injured when a Minneapolis police officer threw a flash bang grenade into his vehicle has filed a lawsuit against the department, stating officers should have never resorted to the tactic.
The lawsuit alleges Jerrod Burt and a friend were sitting in his parked car on March 2 in the area of 1100 Van White Memorial Boulevard when the stun device landed inside and detonated against Burt's body as he sat in the driver's seat. The extent of injuries suffered by Burt were said to be second- and third-degree burns to his right arm and chest.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Thursday, seeks $6 million in damages.
Burt's friend, identified as Leonard Sampson, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the incident, was being sought by police for "nonviolent" drug charges, but a search warrant filed in the case failed to mention Burt or his vehicle. The suit states the warrant didn't authorize "the unannounced entry of any other residence or vehicle." In addition, police didn't find anything illegal inside the vehicle, according to the lawsuit.
"While being initially treated at the back of an ambulance on scene, Mr. Burt asked one of the officers what was going on. In response, the officer informed Mr. Burt that the incident had nothing to do with him," the lawsuit reads. "At the time Defendant John Doe deployed the grenade into Mr. Burt's vehicle, neither he nor any other law enforcement officers had reason to believe Mr. Sampson or Mr. Burt would react violently to law enforcement's execution of the warrant. No reasonable officer would have believed Mr. Sampson or Mr. Burt would have acted in a violent manner."
The Minneapolis Police Department would not comment on the case. Deputy City Attorney Erik Nilsson said in a statement, “The City takes allegations regarding officer conduct seriously and is currently investigating this matter. Pending the outcome of that investigation, we can make no further comment at this time.”