Wrongful-death lawsuit from police shooting can proceed after Supreme Court refuses city of Minneapolis appeal

October 29, 2018 GMT

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to hear an appeal by Minneapolis officials to review a lower court’s decision in the wrongful-death lawsuit stemming from the 2013 fatal police shooting of Terrance Franklin.

The high court’s action means that the long-delayed suit in the death of Franklin, who was killed five years ago in a confrontation with police in a darkened basement, can go ahead as scheduled. Attorney Michael Padden, who filed the suit on behalf of Franklin’s family, said Monday that he wasn’t surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the case, but that “it took a long time, so it was a little disconcerting.”


He added that a trial date will likely be set in the next six to nine months. The two sides failed to reach an agreement at a settlement conference last April, court records show.

City officials filed the request last spring, after the federal appeals court for the 8th Circuit in December denied the city’s appeal of an earlier district court ruling because of jurisdictional issues.

On the day of his death, Franklin, a suspect in an earlier burglary, led police on a chase through Uptown, which ended in the basement of a south Minneapolis home. He was shot after a struggle, during which SWAT officers were wounded by gunshots from another officer’s M5 submachine gun.

The suit — which names officers Lucas Peterson and Michael Meath, former Chief Janeé Harteau and the city of Minneapolis as defendants and seeks $1 million in damages — alleges that Franklin had already surrendered when he was shot. Police and city officials maintain that he wrestled control of the M5 from an officer.

The officers involved were cleared in an internal investigation, and a grand jury concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.

The Supreme Court receives thousands of appeals a year, but only hears a small fraction of them.

Libor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twitter:@StribJany