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SLP Man Awarded $125k After Bar Brawl With Off-Duty Cop

The cop is also the subject of a separate lawsuit for a similar incident.

A St. Louis Park man was awarded $125,000 by a federal jury after alleging in a lawsuit that an off-duty Minneapolis police officer punched him in the head and kicked him in the face.

The jury agreed with Jeremy Axel, an IT salesman, that Michael Griffin used "excessive force" during the 2011 altercation in downtown Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune. Two other claims, of battery and false imprisonment, were dismissed by the jury.

Griffin is also the subject of a second lawsuit for a 2010 incident in which he allegedly knocked out a man outside downtown bar.

Griffin—a seven-year veteran of the force who was awarded the Medal of Valor in 2013 for his response to the Accent Signage shooting—is the target of an internal affairs investigation, the Star Tribune reported.

According to Axel's lawsuit:

On Nov. 4, 2011, Axel and two friends were dining at the Loop Bar and Restaurant, in the Warehouse District. 

Axel and Griffin argued about seating and Griffin told Axel he was going to "call his boys to come [expletive] you up," according to the lawsuit.

After paying their check, two of Axel's friends were stopped on the street by Minneapolis police officer William Gregory.

Griffin then hit one of Axel's friends and, when Axel went to check on him, punched Axel in the head, knocking him out, according to the lawsuit. Griffin then picked up Axel's unconscious body and kicked him in the face.

Axel was concussed and spent the night at the Hennepin County Medical Center, his lawyer told the Star Tribune. He needed to have several teeth replaced and missed at least three days of work.
Mike B. January 06, 2014 at 07:02 PM
There are always two sides to these so-called police brutality stories. Cities are too willing to make questionable payouts to every riffraff who claims he was attacked by the police. Not saying the police are always right.
Tommy Dturkey January 08, 2014 at 01:50 AM
Bullshit Mike, that cop is a nazi.
Tim Spake January 08, 2014 at 09:28 PM
Mike, Don't you think both sides told their story during trial?
Jason Rahall January 08, 2014 at 11:57 PM
I don't understand how any reasonable person on a jury could condone kicking in the head a non-threatening person already on the ground. Wow. The rouser is only going to cost the city more money when he kills someone in one of his ultraviolent outbursts.
Daniel January 09, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I would agree that many Minnesota cops are poor examples of what a police officer is supposed to be. The overwhelming majority got their jobs through nepotism and union thuggery. I don't know the details on this case. If it went to a trial, the jury must have seen the evidence to award the $125,000. The City should not be on the hook for this since he was off-duty. Wait for the lawsuit the Griffin files against the city for untreated PTSD.

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