Brooklyn Park reaches $2.85 million settlement with man shot by police officer

The City of Brooklyn Park agreed to a $2.85 million settlement Wednesday with a man shot last year by a city police officer.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Shoua Yang and some friends went to a Valentine's Day party in Brooklyn Park.

During the party, a fight broke out. Police were called.

Brooklyn Park Police Officer Jason Chadbourne and another officer, who were driving together on their way to dinner, responded to the call.

The suit said that, as the officers responded to the scene, the squad car's dashboard camera was turned off, as was Chadbourne's body microphone.

The officers drove to the scene without flashing lights or sirens, according to the suit.

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When the officers arrived at the party, Chadbourne spotted Shoua Yang and two others walking to a vehicle in the parking lot.

Chadbourne watched the men and walked toward the vehicle.

Yang and the others got into the vehicle, and, the suit alleges, Chadbourne did not warn or speak to Yang, who was driving.

The suit says Yang then began to back out of his parking spot. Chadbourne, who was standing behind the vehicle, fired six shots directly into the vehicle. Two grazed Yang, and a third struck his kidney, which had to be removed.

Yang was charged in Hennepin County District Court with first- and second-degree assault charges. He was later acquitted by a jury.

Shortly after his acquittal, Yang filed the federal suit.

"It's like being a Kafka play where you're almost killed and then prosecuted wrongly," said Robert Bennett, Yang's attorney. "I mean, he took the settlement, he was glad he was acquitted; I think he's glad that it's over, more than satisfied."

The City of Brooklyn Park directed questions to the attorney that represented them — Jason Hiveley.

"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 attorneys fees and costs," Hiveley said in a written 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."

Hiveley said Chadbourne is on paid administrative leave pending an employment hearing.

Bennett said the settlement agreement was made in court Wednesday.

"Ultimately justice worked for Shoua, but it was slow, long and painful," he said.

Correction (9:54 a.m.): The original version of this story included a typo that misidentified Chadbourne's police department. He is from the Brooklyn Park Police Department. The story has been updated.