Minneapolis police probably owe this Cowboys fan an apology.
Anastacio Lemus Lopez was acquitted of felony charges by a jury Wednesday after a video showed him being tased and kicked by two Minneapolis police officers. He was originally charged with felony disarming a peace officer, The Star Tribune reports.
Lopez was facing up to five years in prison after police said he tried to fight with them at U.S. Bank Stadium last December during the Cowboys-Vikings game. Lopez had traveled to Minnesota from his home in Midland, Texas.
During the game, Lopez was removed from the stadium for being drunk and getting into a fight. Minneapolis Police officers Russell Cragin and Anthony Rodin took Lopez through a corridor, where they say he started to fight them and tried to grab a taser from one of their duty belts.
However, security footage obtained by KSTP shows Lopez being taken to the ground by officers as he gets tased, kicked and punched by Cragin and Rodin. After seeing this evidence, the jury deliberated for a day before decided to acquit Lopez.
The 35-year-old has filed a civil suit against the police officers, department, the city of Minneapolis and the Vikings since the incident, looking for $75,000 in damages.
“When I was in there, I met a lot of people that said this happens to them,” Lopez told KSTP. “But they told me, if you have it on video or something, you need to do something about it. Because it happens to a lot of people here. I want the voice of those people heard.”
According to the Star Tribune, Lopez said he was “violently forced to the ground, struck in the ribs with a knee numerous times, punched in the face with a closed fist multiple times, repeatedly tased.”
The jury’s decision could impact Lopez’s lawsuit, given one of the city’s defenses is that Lopez was at fault because he was criminally charged.
Commentary by Jon Masters,