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Minneapolis City Council rejects workers’ comp claim from former MPD SWAT team leader

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

The Minneapolis City Council was poised to spend $145,000 on a workers’ compensation claim from former officer Sgt. Andrew Bittell, who severely beat a man during the civil unrest of 2020. But on Monday afternoon a city council committee returned the claim to staff for review, effectively deferring it for now.

In the same meeting the Policy and Government Oversight committee approved over $873,000 in workers compensation payments to former Minneapolis police officers and a fire captain. Bittell’s claim was the only one returned to staff out of eight workers’ comp claims reviewed by the committee.

On May 30, 2020, Bittell ordered his unit “to fire 40’s on the first f***ers we see,” referring to 40 millimeter rubber bullets, a less-than-lethal round. Later that night, he and his unit rode in an unmarked van, shooting at people without warning.

Jaleel Stallings, who was legally carrying a firearm, was shot at twice. He returned fire, worried he was being shot at by white supremacists. But after learning it was the police, Stallings surrendered and dropped his firearm. No one was injured when he returned fire. As he was surrendering, he was severely beaten and arrested by Bittell and another officer. Bittell later lied and said Stallings was resisting arrest.

One officer, Justin Stetson, pleaded guilty to assaulting Stallings, who settled with the city for $1.5 million.

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