Man arrested after controversial stop sues Edina, cop

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

By Matt Sepic FM

An African-American man arrested in Edina after a confrontation with police is suing the city along with a white police officer.

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Police arrested Larnie Thomas, 34, of Minneapolis on Oct. 12 after Lt. Tim Olson stopped him for walking in the street.

Thomas said he was trying to avoid sidewalk construction and was walking along the edge of the road when Olson grabbed him by his jacket and shirt.

On a bystander video, Thomas is heard swearing at Olson and asking why he’s being detained. The video sparked protests in the city and has been viewed more than 750,000 times.

Thomas’ attorney Tim Phillips said a white person in the same situation would’ve been treated differently, and that Olson’s actions violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

“The Minnesota Supreme Court has said that when conduct is so at variance with what would reasonably be anticipated absent racial discrimination, then racial discrimination may be inferred to be the probable explanation,” Phillips said.

Thomas is seeking more than $50,000.