ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The family of an Illinois man shot and killed by police on March 15 in St. Paul, Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against the officers involved. The lawsuit accuses Officers Mikko Norman and Nathaniel Younce of shooting 29-year-old Cordale Handy “without cause or provocation."
The lawsuit also accuses the St. Paul Police Department of having "unconstitutional policies and practices" that "result in the unjustified police-involved shooting deaths of people of color, including Cordale Handy." WATCH VIDEO OF ANNOUNCEMENT
Handy was shot and killed by St. Paul police during a reported domestic disturbance call in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Police said Officer Norman and Officer Younce were investigating a domestic violence report on the 700 block of East 6th St. when they encountered Handy, holding a handgun. According to the police report, Handy pointed the gun at the officers twice while they instructed him to put it down. Both officers shot Handy, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The lawsuit accuses the officers of a conspiracy "to prepare false, misleading, and incomplete official reports and to give a false, incomplete, and misleading versions of the events to their superiors and to the public." The lawsuit alleges the officers, "in order to cover up their misconduct...falsely claimed that Cordale Handy placed them in imminent fear of bodily harm.”
St. Paul police said video of the incident from a nearby building shows Handy holding a gun, but the rest of the situation happened off-camera. Norman and Younce were not wearing body cameras. The video will be released after the investigation is closed.
Beyond this individual incident, the Handy’s family claims there is a pattern of St. Paul police killing African-American men. The lawsuit states that 24 people have been shot and killed by police officers in St. Paul between Nov. 2000 and Handy's shooting on March 15, 2017. Of those 24, 11 were African-American, representing 45 percent of those deaths, while African-Americans make up 15.7 percent of the St. Paul population.
“I wouldn’t be here today had my son not been executed -- had not St. Paul played God," Handy's mother said. "I wouldn’t be here. These are lives they are taking.”
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is still investigating the shooting, which is standard. The St. Paul Police Department does not comment about pending lawsuits.