MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One year after Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by Minneapolis police, his family is filing a lawsuit over the incident that seeks damages of more than $1 million.
On May 10, 2013, Franklin ran from police after being suspected of burglarizing a home. He was found hiding in the basement of another South Minneapolis home, and that’s when he was shot in an altercation with a police SWAT team.
But the account from the police department and the account from the Franklin family account about what actually happened in that basement are very different.
The Franklin family says police were racially motivated, and went too far with their son. The complaint filed today by the family attorney says Franklin had his hands up and had surrendered when he was shot by police. They also say police called the 22-year-old racially derogatory slurs when they were in that basement.
The suit lists two officers involved in the altercation, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau and other city officials by name. It says officers “operated in the field (and still do) with no compassion with persons of color, often engage in excessive force … especially true for the MPD SWAT team.”
The family’s attorney says this is a case that represents an ongoing culture of racism and abuse of power by Minneapolis Police, and a city government that is doing nothing to stop this from happening.
Police did investigate the incident, and a grand jury heard the evidence. The jury cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing.
Harteau released a statement on Friday saying, “We have provided extensive documentation, evidence, and explanation of the officers’ actions at our press conference on September 19, 2013 regarding the events of May 10, 2013. I continue to fully support the actions of my officers and agree with the decision of the Grand Jury.”
Family members say a witness walking by was able to record cell phone video of the incident. In that video, they say, audio from the basement can be heard from the police radios outside the home.
The police officers’ union says that recording is a lie, and said officers fired because Franklin grabbed a gun from officers and shot two of them.