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City of Worthington to pay $60,000 in ACLU/ Promvongsa lawsuit

WORTHINGTON — The city of Worthington has agreed to pay Worthington resident Anthony Promvongsa $60,000 to settle a lawsuit he filed with representation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging he had been unlawfully treated by members of the city’s police department during a 2016 traffic stop.

Additional terms of the settlement agreement finalized this week after a nearly yearlong court battle call for the city of Worthington to provide multiple types of additional training for its police officers, revise its citizen complaint process, and revise the reporting process completed by officers that respond to incidents involving aggression and resistance.  

The settlement is to be paid by League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, of which the city is a member.

The signed agreement outlines that it was made with no admission of liability (wrongdoing).

In a press release sent Wednesday by the ACLU, Promvongsa — who sought in excess of $500,000 — said he felt vindicated and relieved to put what he called a horrendous incident behind him.

“While no amount of money can bring back a feeling of peace, this settlement shows what happened to me was wrong and the police are making changes to ensure it never happens again,” he said.

In a press release speaking on behalf of the city from the city’s attorney, Stephanie Angolkar — with consideration to the amount Promvongsa had sought and costs associated with proceeding to trial — she called resolution of the litigation for $60,000 a “good risk-management decision.

“An independent investigator found no violation of department policies, which were consistent with Minnesota law, when evaluating the use of force to arrest Promvongsa on July 28, 2016,” she added.

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