Somali American Teens Held At Gunpoint By Cops Reach $170,000 Settlement

The families of four Somali American teens have reached a settlement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board over an encounter with park police that the boys said left them terrified they were going to die.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a discrimination complaint filed with the state Department of Human Rights over a July 2018 incident in which officers held the boys at gunpoint but did not arrest them, according to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The families went through a lot and the young people also went through a lot from this incident,” CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein said at a press conference Wednesday. “We are happy today to report that this incident is behind them, but they are still traumatized from what took place.”

The court settlement was reportedly finalized in November and paid out soon after, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Each of the boys reportedly received $40,000, while $10,000 went to CAIR for attorney services.

On July 10, 2018, Minneapolis Park Police officers Matthew Ryan and Eric Olson responded to a 911 call in which the caller claimed that four boys were holding knives and sticks in Minnehaha Park and that one had a gun in his backpack. The caller also claimed the teens were assaulting her boyfriend.

When the officers arrived on the scene, Ryan drew his gun and yelled at the four teens to get on the ground, while Olson handcuffed and searched them, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.