National Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump Files Suit on Behalf of Michael Cooper
Ben Crump Law, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, and Newmark Storms Dworak LLC filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Michael Cooper, who was arrested while working as a security officer for the CNN crew covering the protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mr. Cooper, who is Black, is an honorably retired law enforcement veteran in his mid-60s. On May 30, 2020, he was a credentialed member of the press and held a valid HR 218, which permits qualified law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States. Despite Mr. Cooper being cooperative, lawfully present at the protests and lawfully carrying a handgun, Mr. Cooper was arrested by Minnesota State Troopers and detained in the Hennepin County Jail for nearly 20 hours for a curfew violation and unlawful possession of a firearm. Despite being accompanied by numerous white members of the press at the time, Mr. Cooper was the only one arrested.
Mr. Cooper’s arrest followed two arrests of a CNN reporter and producer at the protests early the prior morning. Ironically, Mr. Cooper was hired to protect the news crews after that incident.
This complaint was filed on May 27, 2021, in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, and continues the law firms’ commitment to combating civil rights violations in Minneapolis, together representing the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.
“How many times will the country need to see this script play out, where a Black man is treated differently by police than other people in the same situation? Mr. Cooper’s experience while simply working while Black is, unfortunately, all too common. There must be justice for him and for all Black Americans who have had their basic civil rights violated and their dignity offended while going about their lives,” said attorney Christopher O’Neal, Ben Crump Law.
“The irony of Mr. Cooper’s arrest and mistreatment can’t be understated. As the city was engulfed in protests for the harsh mistreatment of a Black man by Minneapolis police, Mr. Cooper himself was mistreated by state law enforcement officers, which is both baffling and extremely disappointing. We are committed to securing justice for Mr. Cooper for the way his civil rights were violated,” said Attorney Antonio M. Romanucci, Romanucci & Blandin.
“We have seen the City of Minneapolis begin to accept responsibility for its actions in May 2020. Now it is time for Minnesota’s state agencies to be held equally accountable,” added attorney Jeff Storms, Newmark Storms Dworak.
About Ben Crump Law
Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and his national network of specialized attorneys have spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit BenCrump.com or call (800) 935-8111.
About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC
Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions. Founded in 1998, the firm is widely recognized for representing plaintiffs in numerous practice areas including: workers’ compensation, pharmaceuticals, civil rights, police misconduct, excessive force, aviation, product liability and premises liability. For more information, please visit www.rblaw.net or call (312) 458-1000.
About Newmark Storms Dworak LLC
Newmark Storms Dworak LLC is one of Minnesota’s premier boutique law firms. The Minneapolis firm regularly handles high-profile civil rights, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse claims. For more information, visit www.newmarkstorms.com.