Court Battles

Owners of destroyed Minneapolis restaurant sue city, mayor for ‘failed’ leadership in response to unrest

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Two Minneapolis restaurateurs are suing the city after their business was vandalized and burned to the ground during unrest following the death of George Floyd in May.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court, Kacey White and Charles Stotts accused the city and Mayor Jacob Frey (D) of failing to properly contain unrest and riots after Floyd’s death. The lawsuit blames this alleged inaction for damage to Town Talk Diner and Gastropub on May 27 and 28, including looting, broken windows and burned interiors.

“Mayor Frey and the City failed to react to the seriousness of the riots and danger to Minnesotans and they failed to comply with policies to confront and stop the rioters,” the lawsuit states, according to a Minneapolis-area NBC affiliate. “As a result of Mayor Frey and the City’s failed leadership, Kacey and Charles suffered damages in excess of $4,500,000.00.”

It goes on to claim that Frey on May 29 “made the decision to evacuate the Third Precinct, removing police officers from the neighborhood, and leaving the citizens of Lake Street to defend themselves and their property.” The diner was destroyed that night along with several other businesses in the area.

City Attorney Jim Rowader pushed back on the lawsuit’s characterization of Frey’s handling of the unrest, saying the mayor requested support from the Minnesota National Guard immediately after the chief of police asked him to do so, “and as soon as there was any discernible risk of civil unrest and damage to neighborhoods and businesses.”

“Likewise, that same evening the Minneapolis Police Department submitted a detailed request outlining scope of the need and a mission plan for the additional support,” Rowader said, according to the news outlet. “The City has provided plaintiffs with these documents, and we are hopeful that they will amend their complaint given this clear and documented evidence.”

Tags George Floyd Jacob Frey Minneapolis

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