Black Family Wins $1.8M Lawsuit in Wrongful Death Police Shooting

Black Family Wins $1.8M Lawsuit in Wrongful Death Police Shooting

Dominic Felder was fatally shot by two Minneapolis police officers in September 2006 after they responded to a 911 call. On Oct. 25, 2010, Felder’s family was awarded $1.8 million by a federal jury.

Felder, 27, was shot and killed after a scuffle with two officers who were responding to a report of a domestic incident. Police were called to Bloomington Avenue South and 40th Street East just before midnight. There, officers Lawrence Loonsfoot and Jason King got into an altercation with Felder. Felder was shot seven times and his death was one of a series of events that angered the Police Community Relations Council at that time. During the wrongful death trial, King testified that Felder had fought with officers, and almost taken a gun away from one. However, the police version of events reflected what lawyers considered a cover up.

“He thought people were out to get him. He thought everybody was trying to kill him. … He was pacing back and forth, back and forth. He just was mentally ill,” said the mother of Felder’s children.

“The family is very grateful,” said James Behrenbrinker, who represented Katie J. Felder, Dominic’s mother, in the lawsuit. “Felder’s mother, brother, sister and two daughters suffered a tremendous loss.” 

The award includes $1.01 million in compensatory damages for Felder’s death and an additional $400,000 in punitive damages against each officer. –torrance stephens, ph.d.

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