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Minneapolis parks board settles with Somali teens

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Families of four Somali-American teenagers who said they feared for their lives when they were detained by Minneapolis Park Police officers in July 2018 have reached a $170,000 settlement with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, a civil rights group announced Wednesday.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said each family will get $40,000 to settle the discrimination complaint filed with the state Department of Human Rights. The rest of the settlement funds will cover attorneys’ fees.

The July 10, 2018, incident at Minnehaha Park drew widespread attention after a bystander recorded part of it and posted the video online. The teens were handcuffed, and at one point an officer drew his gun and pointed it in the direction of the teens.

The teens have said they were just having fun with friends when they were detained.

The officers were responding to a female 911 caller who falsely reported that four teens were following her boyfriend and wielding knives and sticks. Park police released the four teens after finding they were unarmed. Witness accounts also contradicted the 911 caller’s story.

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