Police Abuse

Settlements Reveal Brutality, Thefts by Police Unit

Minnesota's now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force lives on in the compensation still being paid to its victims


A toddler, not yet 2 years old, was kicked in the head by a Metro Gang Strike Force officer and his crib was destroyed during a botched drug raid. The government's payout to the child: $6,000.

A Lincoln Navigator SUV, seized by the Strike Force, was returned to the owner 18 months later, with 20,000 more miles on it. Payout to the owner: $25,000.

In other raids, officers improperly seized a blender, class rings, an ice auger and a stump digger. One man lost some Twins baseball hats he said were autographed by Joe Mauer. His compensation: $2,000 if the caps are not returned.

The stories and payouts to 96 victims of the now-defunct Strike Force, cited in 600 pages of documents released last week in a class-action lawsuit, provide the most detailed picture yet of an out-of-control police squad, and put a price on every wrongful seizure, unjustified punch or dubious raid.