MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota Viking fought in court against the way two Minneapolis police officers handled him and won.
A jury found Tom Johnson not guilty today of disorderly conduct and trespassing. The charges stem from a scuffle with police at a downtown nightclub last fall.
New photos show a laser from a police taser locked on Tom Johnson’s forehead. In court, jurors heard the defensive tackle was stunned for 14 seconds in the back, nine seconds longer than his lawyers say is police protocol.
“My hunch is the jury didn’t like that,” John Lucas said.
Lucas and David Valentini represented Johnson in this off the field fight.
“All along Tom was adamant he was not guilty of these charges,” Valentini said.
Police said on October 5 Johnson refused to leave Seven Steakhouse, but Johnson had a different story. He said security asked him to go for wearing work boots. When he said he’d already been at the club for some time, two officers got involved. One pepper sprayed Johnson. Then, the Vikings player snapped a picture.
“We believe he pays for that picture in a few minutes,” Valentini said.
Johnson went outside and officers followed. He said the officer knocked his phone to the ground and when he went to pick it up was tasered.
Since Monday, jurors saw and heard the evidence. It took them 15 minutes to return Friday’s not guilty verdict. Johnson has said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department for using excessive force. The Minneapolis Police Department said it doesn’t comment on court proceedings.