Hennepin County Attorney's Office drops 3 cases connected to domestic disturbance

Siblings in north Minneapolis say they are relieved the charges against them in connection to a domestic disturbance have been dropped.

"I cried,” said Champaigne Hale, who had her charges dropped. “I was overwhelmed. I was expecting it, but not so soon. I'm so happy. I'm so happy."

"I'm elated and I can finally talk about it now,” said Lee Evans, Hale's brother. “That's the best thing of it at all."

charges dropped

Champaigne Hale and her brother Lee Evans share a hug after learning their charges were dropped. (FOX 9)

Hale and Evans say the police went too far while responding to a domestic disturbance last summer and they say they have the video to prove it. Hale says body camera video shows Minneapolis police punching and Tasing her as they responded to a domestic assault call in the 3900 block of Thomas Avenue North back on August 10.

Police say when they went into the house to arrest the suspect, family members interfered, punching one officer in the face, kicking another in the head and ripping the cord off another officer's radio, making it unusable.

"I could have died that night,” said Hale. “I could have been killed that night. You don't know."

But Hale and Lee say it was police who escalated the situation and used excessive force to assault them. At first the two siblings and their sister were charged with domestic assault, assault and obstructing the legal process with force. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman dropped the charges Tuesday afternoon.

"This is a systemic issue,” said Leslie Redmond of the Minneapolis NAACP. “This is not an isolated incident. We see these situations almost every day."

While Hale and Lee are in the clear, they say it’s not enough.

"I need you to be held accountable like you tried to hold me accountable. Until that happens then there will be no justice,” said Evans.

Hale and Lee say they and community leaders plan to meet with Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo Wednesday afternoon to call for systemic changes in the police department.

A police spokesperson says it’s the officer's job to arrest people and forward cases to the county attorney's office for possible charges, but the decision whether to prosecute is beyond their control.