Hundreds of people marched for two hours Saturday to protest the injuries a man suffered during a traffic stop, saying police used excessive force.
An officer struck Koua Moua, 39, with a police radio and wrestled him to the ground during the traffic stop on Feb. 17, according to a criminal complaint. Police say Moua dragged the officer with his truck, and the officer feared for his life.
Marchers carried signs that showed Moua's battered face and swollen eye. He needed 10 stitches to close a wound under his eye, according to his attorney, Alan Eisenberg.
Some held signs that said "No room for police brutality." The crowd chanted, "No justice, no peace" in English and Hmong. Moua is Hmong, and the Hmong community has rallied around him.
Moua attended the rally but did not speak on the advice of his attorney. He has filed a complaint with the city's Fire and Police Commission along with a notice of claim against the city, usually a precursor to a lawsuit.
The protesters called for the officer, Kelly Parker, to be suspended and fired, for Moua to be paid damages and for police to be held accountable.
Police Chief Edward Flynn backed Parker, saying his use of force was justified. An internal affairs investigation cleared Parker of any criminal behavior, Flynn said.
Moua was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting an officer.
Eisenberg compared the case to that of Frank Jude Jr., a biracial man who was badly beaten by a group of off-duty Milwaukee police officers outside a party in 2004.
Federal prosecutors later charged eight officers, most with violating the victims' civil rights or obstructing justice. Three were convicted and are serving prison terms of at least 15 years. Two others who pleaded guilty were sentenced to one and two years in prison. One officer was acquitted.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 09:23PM