City of Des Moines Settle Excessive Force Case With Lime Springs Man

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Des Moines, Iowa – A Lime Springs man has settled a excessive force case against the Des Moines Police Department.  

According to the Associated Press, yesterday the city agreed to pay 37-year-old Dustin Burnikel 800 thousand dollars to settle the lawsuit against officer Michael Fong and Sergeant Greg Wessels.

Last month a federal jury found the two used excessive force and committed battery when they attacked Burnikel in downtown Des Moines in 2013.

Burnikel says he didn’t recognize the two as officers and approached them after he saw them push a woman to the ground.  The officers pepper sprayed him, struck Burnikel in several places on his body, and dropped him to the ground. Several teeth were cracked and broken.  

The officers said Burnikel acted in a threatening manner.  The officers have a lengthy disciplinary record, buy continue to work for the department.