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Tom Johnson Files Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police Department

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

A 2014 incident at a Minneapolis restaurant and nightclub has led Minnesota Vikings' defensive tackle Tom Johnson to file a lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department, citing excessive use of force and unlawful arrest.

According to Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN, Johnson was arrested on 5 October 2014 at the Seven nightclub in Minneapolis. He was reportedly asked to leave the restaurant because he was wearing boots in violation of the club's dress code.

The police report from the incident said Johnson (6-3, 288) was arrested by two off-duty officers for refusing to leave Seven -€” a downtown restaurant and nightclub. He was then pepper sprayed and forced outside, according to the 2014 report, and continued to be ‘uncooperative' before he was Tasered and handcuffed. Johnson's lawsuit tells a different story, one a jury sided with as he was ultimately acquitted.

Days after the incident, Johnson's representation released a lengthy statement and video in an effort to clear his name. Johnson claimed he was singled out by Seven staff for wearing boots, in violation of the restaurant's dress code, and was asked to leave as he waited inside for his vehicle. As he was "backing out of the exit," Johnson claims he was then pepper sprayed by McCarver. When outside, Johnson waited for his vehicle, tipped a Seven patron who offered him water and a towel for his face and snapped a photo of McCarver with his phone at 2:29 a.m. Six minutes later, according to the lawsuit, Johnson began recording the officers with his phone, and can be heard asking them "you feel good about it?"

Johnson was then tasered by the officer, officially placed under arrest, and handcuffed. The case went to a trial and, ultimately saw Johnson acquitted of the charges brought against him.

Despite the verdict and the well-documented events surrounding the incident, this is one of the things that stupid, lazy, mouth-breathing types will point to and yell OH MY GOODNESS THE VIKINGS ARE SO TERRIBLE, because that's what stupid, lazy, mouth-breathing types do. (Yeah, Wisconsin, totally looking at you here.) But I'm wandering from the main point.

Johnson is seeking $75,000 damages in his lawsuit, which has been filed in federal court. The City of Minneapolis is also named as a co-defendant in the suit.