MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A civil suit has been filed against five police officers and the city of Minneapolis. It centers on the death of former DJ “Q” the Blacksmith, who used to work at KMOJ radio.
Quincy Smith died in 2008 after he was chased and Tasered by five police officers.
The five cops were later cleared of wrongdoing by the Minneapolis Police Department’s internal affairs unit and a Hennepin County grand jury. However, Smith’s family says the officers used excessive force and they should pay for what they did.
Smith’s mother, Betty Smith, says her life has been awful, and that she lost her son and best friend.
In December 2008, police went to her son’s home after they got a domestic abuse call about a man threatening his girlfriend with a rifle.
“There was no rifle. No one ever saw him with a rifle. No one ever saw him with a weapon at all,” said Betty.
According to court papers, officers ordered Smith to the ground, but he refused and ran. When they caught up with him, police allegedly punched him, kicked him in the ribs, hit him with a rifle and Tasered him at least seven times.
This is what police said back then:
“They found a man outside, attempted to arrest him. He actively resisted the officers. Somewhere in the struggle, a Taser was used to subdue him,” said Minneapolis Police’s William Palmer.
“That’s excessive force. It does not take five people to arrest anyone,” said Betty. “He was taken so unnecessarily, so brutally.”
Smith died on the way to the hospital and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.
At the time of Smith’s death, he had a lawsuit against Timothy Devick, one of the arresting officers. That suit centered on Smith’s arrest in 2005 after he was Tasered in another confrontation with police.
Smith died before a final decision in that lawsuit.