The city of Brooklyn Park will pay nearly $3 million in a settlement with a man shot by police at a Valentine’s Day party in 2014. Shoua Yang was shot 3 times by Officer Jason Chadbourne, leaving him with a massive scar and criminal charges that would later be defeated in court.
Attorneys representing both sides confirm a settlement of $2.85 million was signed Wednesday.
Yang was initially charged with second-degree felony assault, which carries a prison sentence of 1 to 7 years. Lead attorney Bob Bennett said Yang’s acquittal on the criminal charges was a springboard for the civil lawsuit and settlement.
The criminal charges said Brooklyn Park police saw 3 men run into a car outside of the Buasavanh Restaurant and Banquet Hall. The officers allegedly yelled at the men to stop and talk, but the driver put the car in reverse and drove toward Officer Chadbourne at a high speed. That's when he fired multiple times.
The other side of the story was revealed in the civil lawsuit, which says Yang never knew the police were in the parking lot on that dark, snowy night. According to the lawsuit, "Chadbourne shut the squad's camera and his microphone off at some point,” although it later turned back on. The suit says "Brooklyn Park police policy mandates […] officers utilize the devices to record all stops and contacts with the public."
Why the city settled
For the city of Brooklyn Park, the $2.85 million settlement was a bargain compared to what could have been a much larger jury verdict.
“The city of Brooklyn Park and its insurer the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust conducted a full risk analysis of this case and determined that settlement would avoid exposing the city to a potentially large jury verdict and substantial attorney’s fees and costs,” attorney Jason Hiveley said in a statement. “In exchange for a dismissal of his suit, the city and LMCIT will pay Shoua Yang $2.85 million which is covered by insurance.”
Officer Chadbourne remains on paid administrative leave pending an employment hearing.
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