Civil Suit Filed Against Minneapolis, 5 Cops In 2008 Death

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.


One Comment

  1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

    His mother says ” It does not take five people to arrest anyone,” That’s NOT TRUE! It took 5 men to arrest my father and they were struggling, at that! When a man’s adrenalin is going, (or a woman’s, for tht matter) the amount of strength they have is truly unbelievable! I’ve experienced that myself in a situation where I had to defend myself against a person who was much bigger than I. But it was only because of adrenalin that I won that battle and am here today to tell about it.

    I’m truly sorry Mrs. Smith is suffering from the loss of her son. However, his running from the police aggravated the circumstances. Things could have turned out VERY differently had he not CHOSEN to run!

  2. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

    The person who called in and said he was threatening his girlfriend with a rifle certainly has culpability in this incident if “No one ever saw him with a rifle or firearm of any kind.”, as his mother’s attorney says. Obviously, SOMEONE saw him with the rifle, or the person making the call outright lied!

    Innocent people don’t run! Please don’t give me that “A Black man can’t trust the cops.” speal! We’re not in the 50’s, nor is this the South! If he wouldn’t have run, the situation would have had a very different ending, for sure.

    thug1, your moniker says it all!

  3. Shane G says:

    What a way for the mother to work the system and get money. Although it’s sad that he died, he is the one who ran from cops and resisted arrest. And another incident in 2005?? He was obviously trouble. He looks like a big guy to me, so it certainly would take five cops to arrest him. If I was running or anybody else for that sake, they would send as many cops after me as needed to catch me. They’re not gonna say..”Okay..only you two guys go chase after him and us three cops will stay behind and watch from a distance keeping our fingers crossed hoping that you can handle him yourself.” HAAA What a joke. This case will clearly be thrown out.

    1. onthefence says:

      shame on you,you dont know this mother or the deceades! !! someone should throw you out.ifyou survived the beating,tasering,punching, and end up a vegetable or with brain damage laying in a nursing home,WOULD THIS TYPE OF BRUTAILITY ON A PERSON BE A JOKE TO YOU OR OR MOTHER..

  4. thug1 says:

    Criminals in a uniform

  5. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

    By the way, it took 5 deputy sheriffs to arrest my father when my father was in his early 30’s. When a man’s (and for that matter, a woman’s) adrenalin gets going, the amount of strength that can be summoned is astronomical! It happened to me when a man who was much larger than myself attacked me! I won that attack and got away, only because the adrenalin kicked in and gave me strength I ordinarily don’t have.

    If nothing can “fill that hole” for the mother, perhaps she should just accept that (as many people who have lost a child need to do) and get some counselling. It’s been three years already. She needs to move on with her life.

    The money she’s looking for won’t “fill that hole” either. Perhaps she should be asking herself why someone would call the police and report that her son was threatening his girlfriend with a rifle if it wasn’t true, and why her son would not have obeyed a police command. I guess for some people it’s always easier to look outside themselves for blame rather than take a look at the role they may have played in the tragedy.

    1. onthefence says:

      YES LOVEITORLEAVEIT , it is easier to look outside ourselves for blame.just as it is easier to form an blind opinion.we were not there.people do lie.unless you have walked in the shoes of this mother and others,who have lost their children ,how dare you say she needs to move moves on.she seems to moving in the right direction.her son’s death was a does not take a homicide to arrest a person.if a officers had been killed in this ordeal,the deceased would be in jail or on trial by now,three years later.

      1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

        A Grand Jury refused to indict these officers. Clearly, they did not believe a homicide occurred. I did not form a blind opinion and you have no knowledge whether or not I have or have not lost a lchild. I may know very well what this mother is experiencing. Yes, she does need to move on and stop taking the easier route of trying to place blame, especially after two legal bodies have exonerated the officers. Only until she understands and accepts the role her son played in his own death will she be able to begin to heal. Mothers who have lost children who were driving while drinking or speeding must do the same thing, you know. Sometimes it’s very hard to admit that our children did something wrong, much less contributed to their own death. But that can be the start of true healing of the heart.

  6. thug1 says:

    Loveitorleaveit if someomes going to kill me i would run too but you will probably stand there like a deer in headlights
    News flash police are best known for killing blacks Our skin makes us guilty to you racist

    1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

      thug1, you obviously didn’t read my post of 8:19 p.m. of Feb. 25. If you’d only read the first paragraph, you have the answer to whether or not I’d “stand there like a deer in headlights!” I repeat: This is NOT the old South or the 1950’s. NEWS FLASH TO YOU: There is not now, nor was there then, any evidence that anyone responded to the call with the intention to harm the perpetrator, much less kill him.

      If no one saw him with a rifle, then obviously there were people around who saw him (without a rifle) when the police came. The police couldn’t have killed him if they would have WANTED to with people around so the smart and law abiding thing for him to have done would have been to obey the police commands, rather than run.

      If you want to continue to live your life using the race card whenever a black man or woman is injured during an arrest, then so be it. The only one you are hurting is yourself but you are stuck in the ’50’s so hard that you can’t even so that reality.

      Laws are made for all Americans to follow. If I believe they apply equally to Black Americans, too, and if that makes me a racist, then so be it — I’m a racist. However, your sarcasm and personal attacks makes you a bully. Why should I not be surprised, though, with the moniker you choose to use??!!

    2. PAUL says:

      thug1 police don’t randomly pick out and kill people weather there black,white,yellow,or red NOT everyone is a rasist like you! if you have something to hide then YOU have the problem. If a Police Officer gives a commmand follow the command and YOU WON’T SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES. heres a clue for you DON’T BE STUPID FOLLOW THE LAW!!

  7. Thugluv says:

    This mother should be jailed for a frivolous lawsuit. What a joke. A substantial drain on the system.

    thug1 – You are so thug for being on these message boards.

  8. Truth is All says:

    I think you need a real education there thug1, the white man isn’t out to keep you down, they don’t want to kill you, they would like for you to realize that only you and the so called Black Leaders like Jackson and Sharpton are the only ones keeping you down.

    If you would pay attention in school, get a good education and stop listening to the idiots that call you a traitor for wanting to better your life then you would find that everyone is actually equal regardless of skin color.

    The ball is in your court man, take the bull by the horns and think for yourself and not follow like a sheep to the slaughter by your own people.

  9. AReasonableMan says:

    There’s no way I’ll ever believe these cops, or anytime it’s 5 trained and armed men against one unarmed, and they can’t take him into custody without killing him??? Never. No way. How can you condone that ever???

    They murdered him, pure and simple. I hope I’ll on the jury.

    1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

      You should take note that your life threatening comments left earlier have been removed. It is illegal to threaten people, you know. And it’s not very smart to do it on a public comment board! You managed to tone your anger down a bit with this comment. If I were you, I’d expect a knock on the door in the near future. Just saying.

  10. Not a proud American says:

    Why does it alwayz got to be a Asian man or a black man??? How come we don’t hear any incidents in any other city but Minneapolis. Smells like kkk to me.

  11. Sam I am says:

    You are a pathetic street ape. Your thuggary is not wanted or needed in a civilized world.

    Quick playing the victim in everything you do. The race card gets really old after a while. Eventually YOU, yes YOU black people are going to realize you pushed the race card to far. Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama are NOT your friend.

    Black people are the most racist people I have ever seen.

    1. Not a proud American says:

      Who’s fault was it to bring them here in the first place? Pointing finger points back to you. Dont assume that all blacks are low lifes. Check out our NBA and NFL Teams. They make more money that you can ever imagine.

    2. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

      Sam I am, I fear we are just wasting our time trying to cnvince people to take resonsibility for their own actions. Some Blacks listen to other Blacks that perpetuate the victim mentality rather than listen to people like Bill Cosby who has laid it out before them that they have no one to blame for their failures than themselves. It’s always easier to blame someone or something outside ourselves than to to look at our ourselves and see what role we played in our own misfortunes. I’m choosing to allow the whiners to continue to whine like little girls who don’t get their way. I’ll continue to help and support those who educate themselves and do their best to make something out of their lives. I don’t have to waste on those who won’t help themselves!

  12. thug1 says:

    if you white people would only take off your hoods long enough to see your racial hatred

    1. PAUL says:

      thug1 you are the only rasist on this comment board……………QUIT WINNING THAT ALL WHITES ARE RASIST WE ARE NOT this is not the 60’s we all see in colored now except for you ……………………GROWUP YOU ARE A WHIMP!!!!!!

  13. onthefence says:

    where in the police job description does it say homicides are exempt?(free).other wise it is a execution. if it takes five to arrest someone so be it.that is not what these five did.these five are involved in a awfully heartless of you to even think that money could replace a person.what does that say about you?

  14. Chris K says:

    Cops kill then get cleared. I always laugh & find solace when I see the tables turned & hear about police getting killed on the job. I really hate law enforcement & have no trust for them.

  15. Proud American says:

    Yea Not a proud American you know it was black people themselves that started selling other blk people. Maybe you should of paid attention in history class instead of being out smoking dope. Chris K you are a worthless POS and don’t deserve the money i pay out for welfare, Thug1 maybe your family should get off welfare and make something of themselves too.

  16. John says:

    Why did he run?

  17. Nancy Aleshire says:

    One has a greater chance on getting a settlement as a result of being killed or injured due to actions by the police. I have been battling for settlement against the MN DHS. My 27 year old developmentally disabled son was killed as a result of being restrained in his DHS run workplace. I am battling just finding lawyers to represent me. Even ARC tells me it is hard to sue DHS. I stand behind Mrs. Smith and all other victims of murdered children.

  18. Chris K says:

    @”Proud” American you are the POS, just like daddy I guess. Your momma was on welfare & we used to call her jawbone.

  19. Chris K says:

    @ Proud American: by the way maybe you should have paid attention in history class as Portugual & Spain were the most significant slave traders. True there were African tribes & Arabs involved but they were not trafficking these humans overseas into chattel slavery. In most prior civilizations slaves could earn their freedom. A good portion of American, the so called land of the free, wealth was derived by stolen labor. Further, I am college educated & make enough money to pay income taxes not just payroll taxes. I hate the police & trust my Glock & myself to protect my family over those cowards. If you are such a tough guy I dare you to burn a cross in my yard smirk.

    1. PAUL says:

      chris I hope you are glock meet someone else with a bigger glock and then we won’t need to here you garbage that spues from you mouth

  20. PAUL says:

    do you know what PIG stands for thug1 …………………………PRIDE….INTEGRITY…….GUTS……….. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT …………………….o by the way when are you suppost to be back at BOYS TOWN

  21. Tell It like it is says:

    I hate cops that hurt or kill people, that is why I don’t have any feelings when one of them gets hurt or killed. There families need to feel the real pain like we do. (You Know)

    1. PAUL says:

      you are an IDIOT the police that have had to take a life in the line of duty have to feel the pain every day of their lives they don’t enjoy that part of their job as you all suggest. remember you just may need their help some day and if they aren’t there right now you will also be the one yelling the loudest GROWUP AND GET REAL OR GO BACK TO JAIL OR PRISON My brother is a police officer and if he needs to pull his gun he is trained to shot to kill !!! remember that is how they are trained

  22. Just Me says:

    I live in North Minneapolis and have noted that cops come in all sorts of skin colors and have rarely had any encounters with them but then again, I obey the laws and try to get along with everyone. Based on my personal experiences, I’d say that if there were five cops trying to deal with this person there were at least people from several ethnic groups there in uniform. It is also quite likely there is dash cam video (or at least audio) that helps to tell the story. I also understand that some tasers record video when they are deployed. I sincerely doubt that anything that the cops did was racially motivated.

    1. racism n 2011 says:

      You gotta be joking rite?

  23. Chris K says:

    Paul, hooked on phonics worked for me. Maybe you can learn basic spelling some day too.

  24. thug1 says:

    all white cops are either redneck, racist, skinhead or klansman

  25. Man1 says:

    Give me a break…white ppl do have it easier then blacks. Thats just a proven fact..

  26. A.Thurmond says:

    The comments here are deplorable especially the mean spirited racist comments. I happened to know Quincy personally and he was far from a thug, in fact he graduated high school with honors and was also a college graduate and substitute teacher at Harvest Prep School. The incident in 2005 was a result of over zealous cops and his murder in 2008 was clearly retaliation being it was the same cop from the 2005 incident. Quincy was MURDERED and although it may be hard for you Lilly white racist to see that, the facts are clear. I pray for justice for his family and not just monetary damages, I would like to see the murderous cops jailed for their crimes. Oh yeah BTW “Shane G” you’re an idiot and your comments made me want to punch you in the face.

  27. Shian F. says:

    I however don’t believe that “all white cops” or “all white people” are racist either. This man’s death, however, was deemed a homicide, and there were 5 armed men against 1 unarmed man. I think they need to be found “not guilty” in a court with jurors, if that’s the case, not by one or more of “their own”. And in regards to all these comments back and forth are proof that it’s not just one group that”s racists…to group a whole group of people together and make judgements about them or their actions based on the color of their skin is racist…just saying.

  28. Jeff says:

    I wish wcco required you to put a picture so people could see who were leaving these hateful, uncompassionate, racist comments instead allowing people to hide behind annoymous post. It’s 2010 and am little shocked that white people still are oblivious to racisim….stop denying facts there’s no reason for you to be so angry…the police rarely kill you for running away! Show some humility only God can pass judgement so stop preaching on here what black should do and what you know about this or that because if you were as upstanding as you think you wouldn’t be leaving these hateful comments!

  29. Shian Fairbanks says:

    Wow…how naïve to sit in judgement and pretty much say he deserved it and his mother needs to quit being “frivilous” and “get over it”. And people need to “quit living in the 50’s”?! A lot of caucasian people may not see or understand, but… there IS still blatant racism going on. I see it myself as a Native American. I don’t drink, use drugs, sell drugs, beat my kids, I’m not on “welfare”, I don’t steal or anything but get treated like scum sometimes just for being me. And isn’t this the same state that had a black statue hanging in a tree with a noose around it’s neck? Not 60 years ago, but VERY recently?! Yeah, it’s people who make those kind of judgements that just keep the racism alive, whether they realize they’re doing it or not…

    I don’t believe that “all white cops” or “all white people” are racist either. This man’s death, however, was deemed a homicide, and there were 5 armed men against 1 unarmed man. And one of the cops was one that had arrested him previously, years before, and had been tased then too. I think the cops involved this time need to be found “not guilty” in a court with jurors, if that’s the case, not by one or more of “their own”. And in regards to all these comments back and forth are proof that it’s not just one group that”s racists…to group a whole group of people together and make judgements about them or their actions based on the color of their skin is racist…just saying.

  30. Simply A Viewer says:

    Loveit or Leave it.. My mother is a Teacher her brother did some wrong doing and cops came to her house looking for him he was not there and I told him to please leave now that they see he is not here the cop told me they be back. Not at all does her brother live at her address. but the cops came back broke her door down bust windows and trahes this teachers home. I arrived and called the police thinkin my mother was robbed or hurt. The police never showed I called again they told me that the police had came there and done that lookin for her brother again. I had only been gone 30minutes they must have watched me leave and probably watched me return. My INNOCENT mother went to the station to see why this had happen to her home and there was no warrant out for her brothers arrest which he had stated to her the first time the police showed at her door but just to make sure she went to check herself. She got a lawyer and to have a case agianst the police is not easy!!!! Exspecially when the public is the VICTIM! In this case he obviously had a case against the cop who showed up at his door step!!! The cop not only has a lincense to carry but a license to possibly get away with MURDER I would run too!! God is a witness in it all and He serve justice!

  31. Tracie Jefferson says:

    I am appalled at the lack of compassion for this mother who lost her son to a horrific death. I dont understand some of the inhumane comments that are being made about someone being killed. It sickens me . I was and have raised my children to be compassionate human beings the lack of concern for another individuals life is so upsetting.

  32. Brittany R. Powell says:

    My prayer is for the family and our community! We all must learn to stand together in issues where people have been stripped of their rights!

  33. Simply A Viewer says:

    And Love it or Leave it you are srongly defending these cop like its hitting home! It sounds more like guilt..Hopefully if there is any guilt or if you know of this situation personally you will pray to God and do what you feel is right and if you honestly feel that what you preach is right then another advice would be this: If you want black people (myself or I have a drop of blood in me so I’m not sure when that rule expires but I think whites would consider me black) to take responsibility of there actions without playing the race card the start with the man in the mirror. Admit that cops can be dirty, they have more power over the public. Its good we have them because some service good purpose they risk their lives day to day to help save ours but they are human and some are dirt just wait for there pay check keeping the money from the drug bust and hurt people with there power!!! Sad but true~

  34. you all amuse me says:

    Ok so I didn’t read all of the comments because after reading Loveitorleaveit’s response to on the fence’s response. I couldn’t read anymore after that because I need to make a point. Unless they had caught it on tape, the grand jury is not going to indict the police!!! They are the “law” remember, and what they say is always going to be true regardless of what color the person is, but even more so over anyone who is black. At the young age of 3, I saw my mom tasered and put in a choke hold to be walked out of a Cubs food. It’s a long story that I remember quite well, but my mom had called them and was not resisting arrest. So that whole, innocent people don’t run thing is bs, because if the police come to get a black man for a domestic, rather he did it or not, there tends to be some type of drama. And he had a suit against one of the arresting police officers?? That doesn’t seem fishy to you? Things that make you go hmm…

  35. onthefence says:

    lpeople, let’s not lose sight of the issues here.this young man’s death was ruled a or white,his death has been ruled a the authority,on death.there is enough blame for everyone involved in this tragic situation.homicides are wrong,and no one should be blaming the deceased, for his own homicide.what kind of world are we living in? what is wrong with this population of ,white,black,asian.north american whoever you are.

  36. onthefence says:

    LOVEITORLEAVEIT the grand jury is not medical personel ,the medical examiner is.WOW. when has the grand jury ever indicted the police? you are correct,i do not know if you ever lost a child but CLEARLY you have NEVER had a child KILLED.there is a major differance and it is not just that the person is dead.we as parents clearly do understand and accept everyone’s role in our children’s death.there is no healing from that type of heartbreak. if you have experienced this type of heartbreak,you would know that compassion is the first ,that everyone needs.

    1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

      onthefence, there are MANY parents who defend their child to the end, refusing to acknowledge the role their child (whether an underage child or an adult child) played in the legal entanglement the child presently finds himself. But I not only disagree with you on that issue, I disagree with you that healing cannot happen under the circumstances of a child being killed. It can happen, and it has happened. However, the ONLY way I know for that to happen is through forgiveness of ALL parties involved in the incdient. However, when a parent can’t even acknowledge their child’s own role in the incident, that parent is going to want to place blame on someone, and it certainly isn’t going to be on their child.

      You CLEARLY do not know if and/or how I lost a child. And you cannot speak for all parents who have had a child lost through an accident, or one who has had a child lost by murder. This isn’t about me, and it isn’t about all the others.

      I agree that compassion is needed for all those who have lost a child, whether through illness, accident, or violence. But I also strongly believe that at some point all parents must move on with their lives, forgive all involved, and live the life their child would have wanted them to live and being fully available to the other people in the family.. Certainly no deceased child would have wanted a parent to mourn them for years as if it was yesterday, or hang onto their death through litigation. Just as parents want their children to be happy, so do children want their parents to be happy. Happiness cannot be felt while holding onto blame, distrust and hate. Therefore, I’m always suspect of parents who litigate matters long after a reasonable period of mourning. Then I have to ask: What are they hoping to get out of choosing to hold onto the grief? 99 times out of a hundred it is money and sympathy, not necessarily in that order.

      1. onthefence says:

        loveitorleaveit you have some valuable point and you also have some major issues.I hope you get some healing for yourself are right this is not about you.YES I belong to a Iorganization for parents of murdered children, YES,we know what we are speaking guess work moves on,forgiveness is attained,but the act is not forgotten. it is ok to mour that reasonable person holds on to grief.what is wrong with you? Mr.Q-the black-smith,was a person who stood up for injustice to anyone and certainly yo himself.his family is doing just what he was in the process of doing and had followed it thru the courts.he was a .reasonable man

      2. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

        onthefence, I’ve taken care of my grief. You said, and I agree: “.life moves on,forgiveness is attained,but the act is not forgotten. it is ok to mour that reasonable person holds on to grief.” Then you go on: “what is wrong with you?” We agree on the basic issues here as you stated above. So why are you questioning MY mental health? Just because I’ve been politically incorrect by calling for the recognition of the fact that he ran and questioned that action, I get jumped on! If he’d been a Caucasian, I would have asked the same thing. It is the Blacks posting here that have made this a racial issue, not the Caucasians.

        Perhaps Mr. Q was a reasonable man. However, running when the police tell you to stop is NOT a reasonable action! And no one has answered who reported his having a rifle and why it was reported if not true. I’m still waiting for a response to both of those questions!

  37. chellbaby says:

    wow ! ican’t believe what I’m reading here.Someone has lost a life and a mother has lost a child and NO MATTER what color that is a horrible experiance. The comments are so disturbing.What if this were you would you expect your mother to just get over it or would you be feeling this way if this were your child?
    why is this turning into hate filled rants? I find this undignified and shameful.This isnt about race this is about the loss of a human being and if it is homicide then it deserves to b justified.

    1. onthefence says:

      chellbaby THANK YOU it is good to know someone else lcan look at the act and not the skin color.the c rime was horrible ,the loss great to the family and the community.

      1. LoveItOrLeaveIt says:

        chelbaby and onthe fence: I, too, feel it’s undignified and shameful that race has been brought into this discussion. But, please note, it was brought in by thug1 defending Mr. Q’s running from the police because “if someomes going to kill me i would run too but you will probably stand there like a deer in headlights
        News flash police are best known for killing blacks Our skin makes us guilty to you racist” The “you” he addressed those comments to was me. My reference to race was that what happened was NOT a matter of race, and my hope that it NOT be brought into the conversation.

        I think if a reasonable person would read my comments you will see that I am questioning the report of the domestic disturbance call, who made it, and why (if it was untrue). No one has yet to come forward with any information addressing those concerns. The police would have not been on such guard had they not heard a report of a rifle being used in threats, and coupled with Mr. Q’s compliance to the officer’s commands, the outcome would have been very different. Think about that! There are questions that need answering here.

    2. chellbaby says:

      love it or leave it i did read your comment and i believe you have some valid points no doubt,please correct me if i’m wrong but a later statement was issued saying that there was no wespon found.i do not justify running from the law however it seems that something went terribly wrong here.i guess time will reveal, also i was taught that just because someone makes an ignorant statement doesnt mean that you have to acknowledge it.

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