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ACLU Files Suit Against Willmar Officer and the City

(West Central Tribune/Willmar, MN) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has filed suit against a Willmar police officer and the city on behalf of a Black man who says he was unlawfully arrested for “walking while Black.”

The West Central Tribune reports that according to a news release issued Wednesday by the ACLU, 39-year-old Derrick Gilbert was misidentified as a different Black man for whom an arrest warrant had been issued. Once the misidentification was determined, Gilbert was arrested anyway, according to the lawsuit filed June 21.

During the arrest, officers cut Gilbert’s backpack off, threatened to use a stun gun against him, and handcuffed him.

The suit further states that because Gilbert was handcuffed improperly, it caused him to suffer pain.

Gilbert was jailed on a misdemeanor charge of obstruction and made several court appearances in the matter, for which he had to take time off work, before the prosecution dismissed the charge six months later.