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City’s independent investigation still underway as ACLU lawsuit looms

WORTHINGTON -- The city of Worthington is gearing up for a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging Worthington Police Department officers used excessive force toward Worthington resident Anthony Promvongsa during a July 20...

WORTHINGTON - The city of Worthington is gearing up for a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging Worthington Police Department officers used excessive force toward Worthington resident Anthony Promvongsa during a July 2016 traffic stop.

 

The ACLU released dashcam footage of the incident in June. Shortly after that, the city hired a lawyer from the Twin Cities to conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

 

Though a report has been expected for some time, it isn’t done yet, and city officials don’t have a timeline as to when it will be completed.

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“We do expect it will be completed soon,” said Steve Robinson, city administrator. “We hope the thoroughness of the report is the reason for the delay.”

 

Once the report is completed, it will be submitted to Worthington Police Chief Troy Appel. The information in the report may not become public if the city’s attorney decides that information could impact the ACLU lawsuit.

 

Jason Hiveley of Bloomington law firm Iverson Reuvers Condon will represent the city in the lawsuit, which was filed on Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court of Minnesota.

 

The lawsuit alleges the July 2016 incident is part of a “pattern and practice of misbehavior” by the Worthington Police Department and alleges the department fails to hold its officers accountable.

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City officials say the ACLU should have waited for the independent investigation - which would help guide the city and WPD in potential disciplinary actions - to be completed before filing the lawsuit.

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