MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Minneapolis man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a Minneapolis police officer he claims shoved him to the ground for no reason at the George Floyd memorial.
Andrew Browne alleges Nicholas Sciorrotta, Jr. shoved him on June 26 after he asked the officer why police were leaving without arresting a suspected white supremacist who had thrown something through a window and threatened people at the memorial.
The lawsuit was filed on July 15, but it did not initially name Sciorrotta. The amended complaint naming the officer was filed on Wednesday.
Floyd died on May 25 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers outside Cup Foods at 38th and Chicago. In the wake of Floyd’s death, a memorial for Floyd was erected at the intersection.
According to the lawsuit, Browne had been volunteering at the memorial because he lives nearby. On June 26, he was helping raise a basketball hoops for kids in the area to use when he saw the volunteer security team escorting a man they said had thrown something through the window of a convenience store and was threatening people. The security team had detained the man to prevent more destruction and violence.
Someone at the scene had called police to report the incident and request that they take the man into custody. The dispatcher told them to take the man a few blocks away from the memorial, outside of the area where traffic was blocked, to wait for police.
Browne discerned from the man’s tattoos that he was likely a white supremacist, according to the lawsuit.
After nearly an hour, no officers had arrived. The security team called the dispatcher again, who told them to take the man a few blocks away from where they were waiting.
The group took the man to the new location, but there were no police officers there.
Twenty minutes later, still no officers had arrived, so they called the dispatcher again. This time, the dispatcher told Browne and the security team to release the man, but when they said they could not, the dispatcher told them to walk a few more blocks to meet police officers who could detain him.
When Browne arrived at the intersection they had been told to meet the officers at, he saw six police officers, including Sciorrotta.
Browne told the officers that suspected white supremacist was in another vehicle that was close behind him. He then asked the officers what had taken them so long and why they kept changing the location where they were supposed to meet.
The lawsuit claims one of the officers then became “visibly upset” and instructed the other officers to get in their cars to leave.
All six of the officers quickly made their way to their police vehicles. Browne walked towards them and asked why they were leaving.
“Just as he got his question out Sciorrotta quickly turned, stepped toward Browne and forcefully shoved him, knocking him to the ground,” the lawsuit says.
The officers then got into their vehicles and drove away without seeing the man the volunteer security team had detained.
The lawsuit alleges Sciorrotta shoved Browne “in retaliation for his criticism of their response to the situation, and for his association with the protest movement related to the killing of George Floyd.”
The lawsuit says the fall hurt Browne both physically and mentally and that he continues to feel “dismay that the officers acted that way.”