Minneapolis council approves $645k settlement to man who was beaten, tased

Virgil Lee Jackson Jr. was with Jaleel Stallings the night a SWAT team fired at them

By: - May 27, 2022 11:33 am

Virgil Lee Jackson Jr. was on his knees with his hands up before a Minneapolis SWAT team beat and Tased him for two minutes after his friend Jaleel Stallings shot back at them after they hit him in the chest with a marking round from an unmarked white cargo van on May 30, 2020. Screenshot from body camera video.

The city of Minneapolis will pay $645,000 to a man who was beaten and tased for two minutes as he and his friend Jaleel Stallings tried to surrender to police.

The settlement is the latest in a string of expensive settlements with people who say they were the victims of police misconduct in the days after George Floyd’s police killing.

Virgil Lee Jackson Jr., Stallings and others were standing in a parking lot on Lake Street five days after Floyd’s killing when a Minneapolis SWAT team fired 40mm plastic projectiles at them, striking Stallings, an Army veteran, in the chest.

Mistaking the officers for white supremacists, Stallings fired back with his pistol, purposely missing, he would later testify. 

The officers jumped out of the van, and even though Stallings and Jackson both tried to surrender, they beat Stallings for 30 seconds, and beat and tased Jackson for two minutes. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are investigating the SWAT team’s actions that night. 

Body camera video footage shows the SWAT team drove around Minneapolis in an unmarked white cargo van, firing plastic projectiles at people out past curfew as police sought to regain control of the city after several nights of riots, arson and looting. 

Stallings was later acquitted by a jury of eight charges, including attempted murder of police officers.

Bodycam videos also showed Stallings’ and Jackson’s beatings, for which they both sued. Stallings recently agreed to accept $1.5 million plus attorneys’ fees and costs, and the Minneapolis City Council approved a $645,000 settlement with Jackson on Thursday.

The officer who tased Jackson had the device in “drive stun” mode, meaning the Taser is used as a weapon by holding it against the body to cause incapacitating pain, Jackson’s attorney, Tim Phillips has said. 

“He didn’t even fire the gun. He was just in the parking lot,” Phillips said, referring to Jackson. “There was no reason for any force at all.”

None of the officers involved has been disciplined. City emails show the day the initial Reformer story was published on Sept. 1, then-Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman referred the matter to the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review for investigation.

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Deena Winter
Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs. Before joining the staff of the Reformer in 2021 she was a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She and her husband have a daughter, son, and very grand child. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, jog, garden and attempt to check out all the best restaurants in the metro area.

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