MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a police encounter caught on camera garnered millions of views online, the man involved is filing suit.
The video shows Edina Officer Tim Olson, dressed in plain clothes, attempting to stop a black man — Larnie Thomas — who he says was “walking in the middle of the street.” A passerby who shot the video says she saw Thomas walking around construction on the sidewalk, staying close to the side of the road.
WARNING: Video Contains Pervasive Strong Language
Thomas becomes more and more upset at the encounter, as another officer comes in and tells Thomas he’s being placed under arrest. Many local activists who saw the video claimed Thomas was the victim of racial discrimination, including Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds.
“This is a prime example of the urgent need of police reform in our state and in this nation,” Levy-Pounds said.
Now, Thomas is suing Officer Olson and the city of Edina. According to the complaint, officers issued a citation to Thomas on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to obey a traffic signal, which was later dismissed. The complaint argues Thomas was the victim of racial discrimination, and demands he be offered a jury trial.
The complaint requests $50,000 in damages and attorney fees, along with any punitive damages the court deems necessary.