MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A second Minneapolis police officer was fired last Friday for his actions on the job, sources have confirmed to Fox 9.
Blayne Lehner has been on the force since 1998 and was an elected director of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. Minneapolis police have not publically disclosed the specifics surrounding his firing.
Lehner has been named in at least two federal lawsuits since 2012 that allege excessive force and civil rights violations.
The most recent lawsuit was filed last August as a result of a traffic stop near this south Minneapolis coffee shop in December 2013. Lehner is accused of kicking 18-year old Luis Garcia in the face. Garcia was said to be handcuffed and in the back of a squad car at the time.
Garcia's lawsuit reads in part, "Lehner's vicious kick broke plaintiff's jaw; an open fracture causing the bone to protrude through his gums and knocked out his two front teeth."
It further states that Garcia’s injuries required multiple root canals, his jaw to be wired shut, stitches to his lower lip and severe lingering headaches.
Garcia's attorney was traveling on Wednesday and unavailable for comment on Lehner's termination. Efforts to reach the police union were also unsuccessful.
Sources tell Fox 9 they fully expect the federation will appeal both Lehner's firing as well as the recent dismissal of another police officer, Rod Weber.
Weber was caught on a suspect's cell phone threatening to break the leg of a young Somali man believed to be involved in a car theft ring.
The city's police chief has not addressed any employment specifics, but did reiterate her message on Wednesday in a written statement, saying, “Public trust is a vital component to our ability to fully protect and serve the residents of Minneapolis. Officers will be held accountable if their actions are not consistent with our core values."
Minnesota’s data privacy laws bar the Minneapolis Police Department from talking about these dismissals. Potential union appeals could take months.