Minneapolis police lie on traffic stop report, taxpayers pay the bill


The Minneapolis Police Department has another "whoops" moment in a string of many lately. You'd better hope there is a camera somewhere nearby when you get pulled over these days because it seems some officers like to make things up about your traffic stop.

This time a routine traffic stop turned into a hugely exaggerated report from officers. It's probably because they didn't think they were being recorded by cameras nearby. Big whoops! And now taxpayers have to foot the $100,000 settlement bill.

The August 2006 incident started when a SWAT van pulled over a car at West Broadway and Fremont Avenue in North Minneapolis. Derrick Simmons was driving the car with passenger Nancy Johnson.

Police claimed the car was speeding and then everything else doesn't really follow the video footage. Police had Simmons get out of the car and arrested him. When he turns around quickly at officers, they took it as a sign of aggression and a physical altercation begins. But then things take a turn into a cop's imagination. The report claims that the passenger got out of the car to help the driver and attacked an officer.

"I noticed that the female passenger was clinging to my partner from his back," the report states. "It appeared she was holding him in a reverse bear hug. I pushed her back and began to mace her."

None of that appears on the tape. Instead, all that can be seen is Johnson being handcuffed and put in another car.

"She did not get maced," Smith said. "She didn't get slapped. She didn't get pulled off of anybody. She was sitting in the car for the bulk of what happened here."

Watch the WCCO video report, with the footage of the incident, here.