In the wake of the senseless murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, which recently sparked local, national and even international outrage, Robert R. Hopper and Associates is grievously reminded of a lawsuit managing partner Randy Hopper brought against Twin Cities metro area law enforcement over 10 years ago involving police brutality, racism and misconduct. That class action lawsuit involved constitutional violations by law enforcement agencies through use illegal seizure of property.
The Minnesota Legislature created the Metro Gang Strike Force as part of a reorganization of the state’s approach to addressing gang and drug-related crimes. The Metro Gang Strike Force became a part of the problem instead of the solution. The "out of control" Metro Gang Strike Force, a multi-jurisdictional police unit made up of officers from metro agencies, wrongfully seized and dubiously raided victims by breaking through people's doors without justification and seizing property without authorization. As a result of the lawsuit, the unit was shut down after 11 years.
The case was settled during mediation. The settlement is one of the largest in the history of the League of Minnesota Trust Fund, the insurance arm that represents nearly all of Minnesota's cities and represented the Metro Gang Strike Force's oversight board. the amount of the settlement was $3 million, with $1 million going to compensate victims and $2 million for police retraining programs to include education and training in civil rights, community policing, forfeitures, racial and ethnic sensitivity, and proper procedures for handling and seizing property.
"Justice has been served," Rivera Garcia, a victim of the Metro Gang Strike Force said in an interview through a translator. "Many times the police acted wrongfully and thankfully through God, I used great attorneys to help us and the Hispanic people get justice."
Unfortunately, police brutality, ignorance and hate continue to cause the injury or death of countless Americans by the very hands of those who are sworn to protect.
For nearly 40 years, Robert R. Hopper and Robert R. Hopper & Associates, LLC, have fought for civil rights and social justice across the country in locations such as Harlem and the South Bronx in NYC, Atlanta and in Minneapolis|St Paul; represented diverse populations, ethnic minorities and people of color in class actions such as in the landmark Metro Gang Strike Force case; and, fought for all people who have been deprived of their constitutional rights and who have been wrongfully injured or killed, including those with traumatic brain injury, paralysis due to spinal cord injury and those who have become affected by brain cancer, brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases.