War Protester Says Police Used Excessive Force

     ST. PAUL (CN) – An Iraq War protester demands $2 million from St. Paul and Minneapolis police, claiming officers tore down his anti-war banner, shot him with a “marking round” and illegally detained him during a protest outside the 2008 Republican National Convention.

     Michael Hugh Kelly carried a banner that read, “Confront the Warmakers, U.S. Out of Iraq Now,” during a peaceful protest in downtown St. Paul on Sept. 4, 2008, according to his lawsuit in Federal Court.
     He claims officers and mounted police approached him, and one of them “began ripping the banner down from the police, first from one side, then the other.”
     “One officer then wrested the pole out of plaintiff’s hand,” Kelly claims.
     He says another officer shot him with a non-lethal round from a 2- to 8-foot range, knocking the wind out of him and causing him to drop to the ground.
     Kelly said he was “very surprised” and “wondered if this was it.” The gunshot wound later caused severe bruising – “the size of a Frisbee,” according to the lawsuit.
     Kelly was arrested and detained until close to midnight, he claims.
     He says the police’s action violated his First and 14th Amendment rights, and wants them to pay more than $1 million in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
     He is represented by Ted Dooley and Peter Nickitas.

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