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Minneapolis woman alleges police brutality after rough arrest

Champaigne Hale posted pictures of her injuries after her release from jail, saying she'd spent days on solitary lockdown following a clash with cops.

Champaigne Hale posted pictures of her injuries after her release from jail, saying she'd spent days on solitary lockdown following a clash with cops. Facebook

The Minneapolis Police Department and a family have wildly different versions of what happened one recent night.

On August 10, cops were called to a North Minneapolis house to check on some form of domestic disturbance.

There, police encountered Champaigne Hale, 28, who was at the home of her mother, who'd called the police earlier that night to report a domestic incident involving herself and her two daughters, according to a criminal complaint issued by the Hennepin County Attorney's office.

The complaint says Hale and her brother, Lee Evans, and eventually her sister, Brandy Adams, wouldn't comply with orders and fought the officers, with Hale shoving one cop "very hard causing him to fall down." In response, the cop tasered Hale. In the struggle that followed, the complaint says, Hale also kicked and bit the arresting officer, causing "extreme pain and dizziness."

She was tasered again, and finally put in handcuffs, as another cop pursued her brother and sister back into the house. Backup arrived, and the three siblings, described in the complaint as "very intoxicated and beligerent," were put in handcuffs. 

Hale faces one charge of fourth degree assault of a police officer causing "demonstrable harm,"a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, and another without that modifier, with a maximum sentence of one year.

The family's story varies immensely from the one put forth by cops and prosecutors. Hale says it was police who instigated the struggle, and that her brother was only coming to her aid to stop cops from hurting her.

A widely shared Facebook post Hale published last week reveals cuts and bruises she suffered during the arrest, during which she says she was "tased over 10 times and punched in the face repeatedly." Hale's Facebook photos were her own, but she says others were taken after she received medical treatment while in custody; she intimated she'd be using those as part of a lawsuit.

"When I was taken back to jail, they took me to the psych ward and placed me on a 23 hour lock down in a room with no TV and no books, just four walls and me," Hale wrote on August 14. "For three days they kept me in this condition and released me this morning at midnight."

Outside a few driving or parking violations, Hale has no criminal record in Minnesota.

Hale's case was highlighted by the Minneapolis NAACP and other supporters at a press conference earlier this week, where she and her brother defended their actions that night, Insight News reports. Hale says cops "immediately attacked" her, while Evans says he too was "attacked" after he moved to protect her.

Evans said he heard one cop ask another if their body camera was on before the confrontation started, and was told they weren't. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder disputes that, saying the incident was recorded, and that body cams "were on in accordance with policy."

A statement from MPD says arresting officers were punched, kicked, and one had their radio cord ripped out. 

According to the police statement: "This incident, as with any incident where force is used, was reviewed by an on-scene supervisor and Internal Affairs.”