Robert Bennett Paul Dworak And Katie Bennett Settle Police Brutality Lawsuit For 2 85 Million
The City of Brooklyn Park agreed to pay $2.85 million in a settlement reached Wednesday in a police brutality lawsuit brought by 23-year-old Shoua Yang. The case stemmed from the January 25, 2014 incident where Brooklyn Park police officer Jason Chadbourne panicked and fired his service weapon six times into a snow-covered car as it backed slowly out of its parking space in the parking lot of a banquet hall, hitting Yang three times. At the time of the incident, Chadbourne was a probationary officer and had been on the force for less than one year.
Yang, along with his cousin and friend, were at the banquet hall for a Valentine’s day party and had decided to leave after a fight had broken out. Chadbourne arrived on the scene and followed the men to determine if they were involved in the fight – they were not. Chadbourne did not issue any commands to Yang and had no information that Yang had committed any crime. Yet, Chadbourne positioned himself behind the snow-covered vehicle and fired – later claiming the vehicle was speeding in reverse at him – a claim unsupported and refuted by the evidence. Yang was hit in the back, neck and shoulder and one of the bullets almost killed him. Notably, Chadbourne’s squad-car camera and body microphone had been switched off during the critical moments, including the time leading up to and during the shooting.
Yang was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery for severe, life-threatening and permanent injures. One of Chadbourne’s bullets severed the renal artery and devascularized Yang’s left kidney, necessitating its removal.
Subsequently, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged Yang with second-degree assault. The charge was later amended to first degree assault. If Shoua had been convicted of the amended charge he would have been sent to prison for a minimum of ten years without parole.
During Yang’s criminal trial, Chadbourne lied to the judge about discussing the case with his partner before his partner had testified.
GBBS attorney Paul Dworak handled the criminal case and in January of 2015 Yang was acquitted by a Hennepin County District Court jury of both charges. The acquittal obtained by Dworak was the springboard for the civil lawsuit, which was filed shortly thereafter, and the settlement obtained Wednesday.