Families of 5 men killed by Minnesota police reach settlement with state crime bureau

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Families of five men killed by police have reached a settlement with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in their lawsuit seeking the investigative files on the fatal shootings.

The $165,000 settlement was reached Monday. The families’ attorney, Paul Bosman, said they will have full access to the case files, and the bureau will tell families in the future how to obtain such reports and how to obtain their relatives’ belongings, the Pioneer Press reported.

“These families had only heard the police press releases, the police union statements, and the county attorneys’ rationales for not charging the involved officers,” Bosman said. “That’s what their neighbors had heard, too. They couldn’t defend their loved ones’ names or begin putting their grief to rest, because even though they were entitled to the data about what happened, the BCA wasn’t giving it to them.”

Prosecutors cleared the officers of wrongdoing in all the shootings. The families’ lawsuit, filed in November, alleged the bureau violated Minnesota’s open records laws.

“Prior to this lawsuit being filed, the BCA had already sought and secured funding from the Legislature to bolster our data practices team,” the bureau said in a statement. “Requests for data from the BCA have increased dramatically in recent years and this additional funding and staffing will mean faster responses for anyone who requests information in the coming years.”

The families include those of Brent Alsleben, Dolal Idd,Zachary Shogren,Okwan Sims and Tekle Sundberg, who were killed by police between 2020 and 2023.

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