A man claims Minneapolis police officers beat him unnecessarily during an arrest. Officers say they were just trying to prevent him from using an illegally-possessed gun tucked in his waistband.
Damarlo West was apprehended at JJ Fish & Chicken in July 2020 after he carjacked somebody days earlier, firing several rounds at the victim. Body-camera footage of his arrest shows officers storming the restaurant, taking West to the ground and holding two other men at gunpoint.
In the video, officer Tyler Klund can also be seen stomping on West’s shoulder and back. He was then taken to a squad car where officers asked if he was hurt. West said he was not injured at that time, according to a lawsuit he’s pursuing against the city of Minneapolis, first reported by the Star Tribune.
West alleges that since his arrest he’s experienced “migraines, extreme neck stiffness and soreness, insomnia, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and decreased motor skills” stemming from officer Klund’s actions. He also reportedly suffers “extreme emotional distress.”
Police, however, say Klund was just doing what he needed to do to prevent West from accessing his gun.
After the arrest, another officer, Steve Mosey, wrote in a police report that he “observed Officer [Tyler] Klund stepping on [Plaintiff’s] shoulder and arm area in what [he] believe[d] was an attempt to disarm” West, who had just “reached down with his right hand and grabbed the but [sic] of a gun that was in his waistband.”
Klund’s use of force was subject to a “use of force supervisory report.” However, because this was conducted by his father, who is also on the force, West’s lawsuit argues that it should be considered invalid.
This suit is presently ongoing. Another hearing will occur early in the new year.
West is currently behind bars. This is not his first brush with the law. He’s been convicted of four previous felonies that took place between 2012-2014, which is why it was illegal for him to have a gun at the restaurant. His previous offenses range from selling narcotics to fleeing police in a motor vehicle, according to state records.