UPDATED 2/7/2010: Ninth Circuit Decision Can/Should/Will Be Used Against Thug Lappegaard
We wrote about a decision the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reached last month in the case of Bryan v. McPherson, when it decided Coronado, Calif. police thug Brian McPherson savagely tasered a young man for absolutely no reason. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision, ruling that “qualified immunity,” will not protect them when they brutally attack American citizens for fun.
Coincidentally or otherwise, the City of Minneapolis fired Lappegaard from his cop job last month as well, possibly as a result of the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Lappegaard is now whining to the media. He told WCCO CBS 4 that he had no choice but to use his electrocution toy on Mr. Roland Ruiz, and wants his job back. His best course of action, being he will/has escape[d] criminal charges, is to just disappear and never show his face again.
Granted the Ninth Circuit does not have direct jurisdiction over the federal courts in Minneapolis, you can go all in on the fact that Mr. Ruiz’s lawyer will incorporate the Bryan decision into his arguments, specifically where the Ninth Circuit said:
“A simple statement by an officer that he fears for his safety or the safety of others is not enough; there must be objective factors to justify such a concern…although Bryan had shouted expletives to himself while pulling his car over and had taken to shouting gibberish, and more expletives, outside his car, at no point did he level a physical or verbal threat against Officer McPherson.”
This is almost verbatim what Lappegaard is claiming as his excuse to savagely attack Mr. Ruiz. Sorry son…won’t work.
RELATED ARTICLE: Federal Appeals Court Rules Taser Incident Excessive Force (1/3/2010)
by Brian A. Wilkins
11/10/2009 (links and photos updated December 10, 2018)
I honestly cannot wait to hear what the copsucking community says about this most recent thug job by Minneapolis Police, who are quickly making a name for themselves as one of the nation’s most corrupt cop organizations.
Watch the video first, and the synopsis will follow.
The young man is Mr. Roland Demetrio Ruiz, an 18-year-old Minneapolis man, who was arrested in this April 30 incident for allegedly throwing a brick at a cop car. The police thug is Todd Lappegaard, who was also involved in a 2002 incident which caused the death of a Richfield, Minn. man, according to the Star Tribune. Lappegaard, while pursuing a suspect in his cop car, recklessly and carelessly struck an SUV driven by a woman fleeing police. This caused the woman’s vehicle to carom off the road, and fatally strike a pedestrian.
As you can see, Mr. Ruiz has his hands on the hood of Lappegaard’s cop car, which means he is surrendering. Lappegaard, because he’s a POS thug who hides behind a badge, wanted to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on Mr. Ruiz, so he used his federally mandated electrocution toy to send 50,000 volts of electricity through the top of Mr. Ruiz’s spine. As far as I know, Lappegaard wasn’t even rewarded with thug cops’ best P.A.L. (Paid Administrative Leave), but instead, seems to still be on the active force.
The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County Superior Court last week, seeks more than $500,000 in damages. Shockingly, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan – yes, the same Dolan who praised Minneapolis Police thug Jason Andersen after he murdered Fong Lee back in 2007 – said the present incident is “very disturbing” and allegedly has requested an FBI investigation and has asked the Minneapolis city attorney to also investigate. Mr. Ruiz’s lawyer, Albert Goins, however, told local media he has received no notice from the Minneapolis Police Department about the alleged investigations requests by Dolan.
The fact there is video of this brutal attack by Lappegaard may mean very little in Minnesota jurisprudence. A Hennepin County grand jury cleared the aforementioned Andersen of wrong doing after he murdered Mr. Lee on tape; and the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis acquitted Andersen of brutality in the subsequent civil suit. But because chief Dolan admitted the incident was “very disturbing,” this case will likely settle long before a trial happens.
Regardless, this Lappegaard needs to be immediately charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and placed in jail pending trial. Sure, the city of Minneapolis will cut a check for this brutality, but this cop needs to be taken off the streets all together because he’s a sick, twisted human being who has violent tendencies. But judging from the Fong Lee case, the Tyler Heilman case in Le Sueur County, MN, and general U.S. cop-sucking, the chances of this scumbag being charged with anything are remote.
Another person who has tried and convicted this officer without the facts. Yes, this officer was involved in a deadly crash. The officer was following direct orders and as testimony from the Minnesota Highway Patrol, the squad’s angle and position next to the vehicle involved showed that it was impossible to see the pedestrian.
Now, for the most recent incident: The officer ordered the ‘victim’ to the ground. When he refused to comply he turned on the dash cam, again ordered him to the ground and then tased him.
The “THUG” here is not the officer it is the idiot ‘victim’ who had been pestering officers all evening. Moments prior to the video this thug (with a growing criminal history) was pushed away by other officers. He became enraged and started throwing landscaping blocks. Are you actually so naive that you believe he calmed down within seconds of this incident? The media has already persecuted this officer. He is considered a great cop and has a the respect of his peers and the community. The media has, once again, reported without all of the facts and has chosen to open it to the public court where all you jurists will hang him without ever asking for the plain and simple truth. As they say in police land …. facts, just the facts….. WCCO should be ashamed of itself. So should the Chief and his administration. The officer initiated the dash cam made the arrest and inventoried the evidence. That doesn’t sound like a thug to me just a cop trying to do his/her job to the best of their ability.
How do you know the facts mikaylagiana?
Lets ust say I work at the city and would prefer not to lose my job by releasing the facts the city and media refused to review.
Just a few seconds of video. Not enough to put anyone in jail. Just think if some took a 42 second video of you and tried to base you life on it. There has to be more information about this case. Someone should look into it.
“Just think if some took a 42 second video of you and tried to base you life on it.”
Basically like how the “mainstream” media did/is doing Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
There is so much more to this case yet the city and the media refuse to hear it. The ACLU and his bottom feeder attorney have turned this into a racial issue. I wonder what they would do if at first they witnessed the lanscape blocks flying and then have that same person slam their hands on the hood of their car while shouting that they are mother fu@#er. They would likely change their tune. The officer will likely be terminated by the end of the year. His attorney is hopefull this will be resolved but as I said the city is not playing along. They are the officer out to dry and are willing, yet again, to allow another criminal to dip into the taxpayer coffers.
Minneapolis pays more criminals than any city in Minnesota with alleged police brutality. While this does happen it isn’t as frequent as we are led to believe. Minneapolis has opened the doors by allowing this to continue. If the administration would grow some balls and take just a few of these claims to court where most would win we wouldn’t have this problem and these types of attorney’s would be put out of business. I say good riddens. This attorney’s lawfirm (of 3) pulls in over 1 million a year. As near as I can tell almost all are against law enforcement with a sprinkling of other bogus racial issues. Nearly all settle out of court.
Minneapolis cop quickly making a name for themselves as one of the nation’s most corrupt cop organizations (tell me about it) within the last week one of their’s admitted to a recent armed robbery, and is suspected in slue of others, shame, shame. It scares me to think I cannot trust the very people I should. This police officer went through all the normal procedures to become an officer. Started working for the Minneapolis SWAT in 2007 with no incidents. But however ends up robbing multiple places. I do not trust any of them:(
MPD Officer Lappegaard Use of force points:
Rolando Ruiz was arrested for narcotics on 4-30-2009 at 1830 hours in the 2nd Precinct. His drugs and money were seized (CCN 09-126279). Ruiz was returned to the 2nd Precinct CRT Office.
Ruiz told officers, including Officer Lappegaard, that he would make a drug buy for them as he did not want to go to prison. Ruiz explained that he was on probation for a violent gun charge in Scott County 6 months prior.
Ruiz made the drug buy (CCN 09-126591). Ruiz was removed by Officer Lappegaard, searched and placed in the rear of Officer Lappegaard’s squad by Officer Lappegaard.
2350 hours: 2nd Precinct Ruiz argues with Officers Jeff Carter, Matt Alberts and Dusty Dupre. Ruiz challenges Officer Carter to fight. This takes place in the front lot of the station. Officer Lappegaard returning to the station from the scene of the previous drug buy observes this confrontation, stops his squad, but is waived off by Officers Carter, Alberts and Dupre. Ruiz is then physically removed from the property by the three officers.
Officers Carter, Alberts and Dupre returned to the inside of the station. Officer Lappegaard parks his squad in the rear station lot.
Ruiz returns to the front precinct lot and removes large landscaping blocks and throws them at a vehicle in the precinct’s visitor lot. Officer Lappegaard witnesses this criminal act and in a calm voice airs this information and gets into his squad to go and arrest Ruiz.
Officer Lappegaard turns onto 19th Ave NE and and observes Ruiz now attempting to leave the precinct southbound towards Porky’s restaurant. Officer Lappegaard blocks Ruiz’s path with his squad. As officer Lappegaard turns on his lightbar he gets out of his squad and yells “get on the ground!”.
Ruiz instead slams his hands onto the squad hood, continues to speak profanities to Officer Lappegaard and watches as Officer Lappegaard approaches him. Officer Lappegaard believed Ruiz was waiting for Officer Lappegaard to get close enough to assault him.
Officer Lappegaard places his CED on the left rear shoulder of Ruiz and drive stuns him. The taser slides off Ruiz as he falls to the ground.
Officer Lappegaard administers another 5 second cycle to Ruiz gaining compliance.
Officer Andrew Allen arrives and assists Officer Lappegaard with handcuffing and placing Ruiz in the rear of Officer Lappegaard’s squad.
Ruiz complains of no injury.
Other officers arrive on the scene and Sgt. Nordine is (per policy) advised of the use of a CED.
Ruiz is transported to jail. Jailers are notified (per policy) of the use of a CED. Officer Lappegaard’s squad tape is inventoried (per policy).
Ruiz is interviewed by Sgt. Shults and admits to the damage. Ruiz also told Sgt. Shults “I got on the ground (please note Officer Lappegaard’s initial order). Ruiz
The bottom line here is that there is a lot of fact-finding to do here before drawing a conclusion one way or the other. In that respect I think the original “article” posted here is both naive and irresponsible in its one-sidedness. (By way of example, what information, other than his own bias, was the author relying on in concluding that Lappegaard “recklessly and carelessly” caused the 2002 accident? My guess is no information at all.)
As an attorney I have handled both plaintiff’s and defense police cases successfully – one thing I’ve learned is that the unvarnished truth is seldom entirely one-sided. Frankly it sounds very clear to me that Ruiz is a bad guy, and may well have instigated this tasing through his own violent and irrational behavior – we shall see . . .
This officer was terminated from MPD January 25, 2010. He is only guilty of doing his job however, public outrage of the video allowed no room for a full investigation. MPD Administration told Internal Affairs who to interview, the scope of the interview and the outcome expected. The Administration only allowed Internal Affairs to interview the Sgt. that conducted an interview with the suspect to be sure he suffered no injuries and the Officer who intentoried the tape neither had knowledge. The Sgt. had no knowledge of the events leading up to the arrest. The Officer was aware of the suspects criminal history, which included assault with a deadly weapon six months prior however he was not part of the altercation with the suspect or the arrest.
A great injustice was done, not only to the Officer involved and the police department but to all those working for and living in the City of Minneapolis.
Termination came as the Chief of Police is up for reassignment and the Mayor is making a run for Governor.
Hmmmm…… one has to wonder what political agenda the Administration has. Looking at the Appledorn case where she received 20hrs without pay
one must question their actions.
WOW!! More MPD officers sue the department for discrimination. Chief Dolan states “he will not give promotions or preferred assignments to officers who make complaints.” So a whisleblower will never be able to be promoted? Is this like terminating officers when the media embarrasses the department. What about his claims that he evenly disciplines Officers. Oh that’s right… Everything IS even IF you are a minority or GBLT. If you are a minority heterosexual Officer working under a GAY superior, sorry guys you too are on the outs.
Does this man hear himself speak? He has spokespeople. He should use them.
I hope this man does not does not get reassigned. The corruption at the Administration level under his reign is transparent yet others at the City do not see what he is doing to the good men and women on the force. He slaps the hands of lesbian Thugs who violate policy and procedure (Appledorn, ranked 15 on complaints) and terminates heterosexuals that follow the rules to the letter (Lappegaard, who has not 1 complaint in his 17 year tenure). He also promotes Officers that are too inept to work the street and continues to promote them to their level of incompetence. He himself has risen to his level of incompetence which explains his need to flex his muscles.
SOMEONE OUT THERE PLEASE GET HIM OUT OF MINNEAPOLIS and TAKE HIS ADMINISTRATIVE POSSE WITH HIM.
If this site is about keeping media and government honest why do we have such poor reporting in the media who air anything without facts, just to be first to air or print? Why are departments such as the MPD allowed to continue with their corrupt behavior without being called on their actions? How does MPD Administration get away with their inequitable discipline and promotions? Why does the MPD Administration favor GLBT and minority officers? And why is it that a minority Officer working under a GLBT superior is given the same inequity as the white heterosexual Officer?
The Administration and its posse at the MPD should be removed.
How does one get through to City Hall or other governing bodies? I feel as though I am banging my head against those landscaping blocks that Rolando Ruiz hurled at vehicles. 🙁
You insinuate we favor some sort of affirmative action practices, which we do not.
I happen to agree that Chief Dolan and Mayor Rybak need to be removed. Too much malfeasance has happened on their watch. We just disagree on the actions of Lappegaard, which is fine because your arguments are backed with reasonable logic (though I disagree with it). Whether Ruiz is a “bad guy” or not, it does not and will not justify the tasering in federal litigation. Our first matter of business will always be protecting American citizens from abuse under color of state law.
As far as getting through to the powers that be who can execute getting rid of the problems, the proverbial “write your city council members” only works to a certain degree. Down here in Phoenix, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is finally being evicted from the Wells Fargo Building down here because protestors are outside everyday.
If you have “preponderance of the evidence” proof that this GLBT and non-“white” favoritism exists, write me an email. I haven’t had a chance to read all the links you’ve left, but I or someone else will. Believe it or not, we just want police and government to protect and serve like they are supposed to. Playing favorites at a department creates a poor working environment, be it affirmative action or “white” cops getting treated differently.
Brian W. ——–
I just read the Star Tribune about 3 Sgts. suing the city for discrimination and had this thought.
Since when can you be passed over for promotions and other opportunities because you are a whistle blower? Isn’t that against the law?
Isn’t discrimination also against the law? Or is reverse discrimination okay because we weren’t picking cotton oh, say last week! Are GLBT allowed more privileges because of their sexual orientation? It seems apparent this is so at MPD. Even minorities fall below this class.
Here too is another incident of the inequity and injustices at the Administrative level. Yet, no one is paying attention. Corruption and favoritism of this Administration is out of control. When will the governing body’s recognize this? This brings the number of Officers suing the city to 15, which I am aware of. I’m sure many more are flowing into law firms. As a Minneapolis employee and a citizen I find this appalling. My tax money should be going to keep the fine men and women on the street. They should not have to suing to compensate for the injustices and inequity of the Administration and their unwillingness to admit and the continuance of those wrongdoings and prejudices.
Just a thought.
Lappegaard tased Ruiz because he was violent. He was told to get on the ground and instead rapidly walked to the front of the squad and slammed his hands on the hood. The officer used the taser and still it took two of them to get him to get his hands behind his back. He was never tased on the neck, his booking photo proves this to be true. The FBI reviewed this case and found all policies and procedures were followed. The FBI investigation has been sent to the DOJ where the Agent believes the Officer will be exonerated. You can disagree all you want however, you were not there, you don’t know the Officer and you don’t work, or live in crime ridden Minneapolis. I happen to do both and know which Cops are thugs and which are not.
Sherry Appledorn falls under the GLBT umbrella. She not only tased a suspect spread eagle and obviously surrendering, she violently placed her boot in the middle of his back, continued to kick him and tased him twice with barbs. For that she got a two day suspension.
Others Charlie Adams, a black officer, was disciplined when he disagreed with his GLBT superior. He, and four other black officer who fell under this situation sued and settled with the City for %500,000.00.
Sgts. Mark Osland, David Voss and Marvin Schumer are suing the department for GLBT promotions and plum assignments overlooking those men.
Todd Lappegaard has filed suit as he is not guilty and has not one single complaint in his 17 yr. history with the department was terminated but a GLBT officer with over 16 complaints for use of force is given two days off with pay for her blatant force.
Lappegaard’s attorney states he currently has over a dozen clients making these claims. The MPLS Police Federation backs these individuals and more keep a comin’.
I’ve gone to the City Council and the Mayor. The Mayor seemed to be interested and sent the investigation back to the corrupt Administration that hindered the first investigation. The City Council claims they can’t talk about the case but they are more than willing to take hard earned tax payers monies to pay off Ruiz. Guess that will buy him a lot more drugs that he can sell to our children.
This is obviously not the first incident with guy! I have found a few articles where he was found to have used excessive force. I am very familiar with the case in 1996! I feel that was also wrong! What the media says and what the courts finds is NOT how it happened! This guy should have been stripped of his job long ago!!
@mikaylagiana You are obviously retarded. The guy had his hands on the hood of the car. The cop didn’t even try to handcuff him. So should cops taser everyone they suspect might resist arrest? Or just the blackeys?
I know I’m 2 years late but the cop-defending on here is just bullshit. If there was video of this cop raping some 12 year old you idiots would find a way to defend that. The video might be taken out of context. Maybe they were just pretending. Maybe while the cop was trying to help the girl up he tripped and fell dick first into her vagina….