ACLU sues Worthington Police Department alleging brutality during arrest

Updated: October 14, 2019 10:13 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the city of Worthington, the Worthington Police Department and a civilian. The lawsuit is regarding an alleged assault that took place on January 12th and put a man in intensive care with four broken ribs and a lacerated pancreas and liver.

The ACLU released a video clip from the police dash camera that showed their client, Kelvin Francisco Rodriguez, running after he pulled a car into a parking lot as police flashed their lights.

"In this case Kelvin was brutally injured," said Teresa Nelson, ACLU Legal Director. “Asked for medical attention repeatedly, those requests were ignored, and the delay to get treatment was shocking to me."


Nelson said Rodriguez had to be taken by air ambulance to the hospital to be treated for the injuries.

Worthington City Administrator Steve E. Robinson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the city was waiting for legal representation in the matter.

Robinson said the officer’s actions were reviewed by the department for ‘use of force’ but no action was taken against the officer.

"The first time I saw (the video) I didn't realize the other gentlemen in the video is a ‘ride-along,’ he looks like an officer," said Nelson. “He gets to Kelvin first, he's not on the force."

The lawsuit alleges Worthington resident, Evan Eggers, was riding along with Officer Mark Riley, then got out of the patrol squad to run after Rodriquez and “was a willful participant in the assault.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS made multiple attempts to reach Eggers for comment involving allegations mentioned in the ACLU lawsuit.

The suit alleged Officer Riley"…dropped his weight and kneed Rodriguez in the back. Rodriguez cried out in pain."

The City’s ride-along policy states the participant is there to “study and observe for his (or her) own benefit the functions and operations of the Worthington Police Department.”

Rodriquez faced no criminal charges for what played out on video that led to his arrest at the scene.

The City of Worthington provided court documents that show Rodriquez was later cited for a scuffle that broke out earlier in the evening at a different location.

Rodriquez entered a guilty plea on Friday for disorderly conduct.

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Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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