Second Mpls. officer fired after unspecified complaint
A Minneapolis police officer and board member of the city's police union has been fired after an unspecified complaint.
Officer Blayne Lehner was terminated last Friday, according to the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.
A spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department confirmed there was a complaint against Lehner and that the union has filed a grievance in the case, but said data privacy laws prevent the department from releasing more information.
Lehner is a director of the city's police union.
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President Lt. Bob Kroll said in a statement released by the union that "Blayne Lehner is an exceptional officer and federation board member."
Lehner was the subject of a recent lawsuit filed by Luis Daniel Garcia, who alleged the officer kicked him in the face while has was handcuffed in the backseat of a squad car in 2013.
Garcia claims in the suit that he suffered a broken jaw and lost two front teeth during the incident.
Details of the case are still playing out in United States District Court. It's not clear whether the case is connecting to his firing.
Lehner also has been disciplined four times, according to department records, including two suspensions for violations of the department's use of force policy. Twenty other complaints were dismissed without any disciplinary action.
The federation's website describe Lehner as a native of Verndale, Minn., and current resident of Lakeville. He joined the department in 1988 and works in 911 response. He's previously served in the 3rd and 5th precincts.
The firing comes on the heels of news that Officer Rod Webber was fired in relation to an incident last year where Webber was recorded threatening to break a 17-year-old boy's leg if he fled from a traffic stop.
"The federation has filed a grievance in both the Lehner and Rod Webber cases. We will proceed with the advice of legal counsel," Kroll said in a statement Thursday. "We do not try our grievances in the media. We will refrain from further comment until each case is closed."
Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau did not comment directly on either case.
But Harteau said earlier in the week that, in general, "officers will be held accountable if their actions are not consistent with our core values or the state's Law Enforcement Code of Ethics."