MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he assaulted several men outside downtown nightclubs.

Michael Griffin faces nine separate federal civil rights charges. Investigators say he beat up four men in two separate incidents while off duty and then lied about it in police records and in court.

Griffin walked out of federal court Thursday after posting a $25,000 unsecured bond, but there are conditions he must follow.

He has been taken off the streets he’s patrolled since 2007 and placed on home assignment.

He will continue to be paid while his case goes through the federal court system.

Griffin must show up for future court dates and was given a probation officer to keep track of his whereabouts.

His attorney had no comment except that his client is innocent of all charges.

Attorney Paul Applebaum represents one of the four men who accused Griffin of using excessive force.

“I’m happy to see this day come,” Applebaum said.

The incident took place outside the Loop Bar in November of 2011.

Applebaum says Griffin dislocated his client’s shoulder and left him with several bruises and a head injury.

“They’re elated, they’re elated,” Applebaum said.

Applebaum says his client is glad to see criminal charges filed against Griffin, something he never thought possible.

“When this case first came across my desk, we weren’t sure we could win the case, and now two years later, it’s looking like he is being criminally prosecuted and that’s something they had wanted to happen all along,” Applebaum said.

His client won a civil suit worth more than $120,000.

Another lawsuit alleged Griffin punched a man outside Envy nightclub in May of 2010.

The two civil suits against Griffin have cost the city more than $400,000.

As a condition of his release, Griffin had to surrender his passport, he cannot travel outside the state of Minnesota and has to report any contact he has with law enforcement, including traffic stops.

Another condition, Griffin cannot carry any weapons.

He’s back in court at the end of July.

Reg Chapman

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