Russell v. Taylor (D. Minn. 2010)

Rickia Russell was a 32-year-old mother of two children. On February 16, 2010, Russell was celebrating Valentine’s Day with her daughter’s father, Mario Bogan, at his apartment. On that same day, Minneapolis Police obtained a search warrant to look for evidence of a drug sale, and to locate an individual named David Conley. While the warrant required police to enter with announcement of authority and purpose, the officer briefing the other officers said it was a “no-knock” warrant.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., officers broke down the door, and threw a flash-bang grenade in the direction of Rickia Russell. It exploded, lighting both her calves on fire. Russell was being handcuffed when she screamed her legs were burning. She remained handcuffed until paramedics arrived. The paramedics took Russell to the Hennapin County Medical Center’s Burn Unit, where she remained for over two weeks. She suffered third degree burns to both of her calves.

Russell filed a lawsuit against the participating police officers, Craig Taylor, David Clifford, Daniel Loe and the City of Minneapolis. The case was ultimately settled for $1 million.

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