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A vial of ketamine
Ketamine is an anesthetic that can induce a loss of consciousness. (AP file photo)

Bar Buzz: Curbing ketamine, SNAP decision, and more

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Brandon Currie of Elk River, Minnesota has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court and seeks to ban officers from using ketamine on suspects. In 2019, Currie was involved in an altercation with law enforcement. To subdue Currie, a first responder injected Currie with ketamine for the purpose of sedating him. Ketamine is an anesthetic that can induce a loss of consciousness. In Currie’s case, he went into a coma and was placed on life support, his kidneys shutting down due to ketamine. At the time, Currie was on medication for schizophrenia. While it has not yet been determined whether interaction caused the serious reaction, the lawsuit alleges that first responders did not inquire as to whether Currie was on any medications before administering ketamine.


Ruling against District Judge Wilhelmina Wright’s 2019 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that St. Jude Medical, an Abbott Laboratories subsidiary, must against face claims that it violated a patent licensing company’s rights with its catheters for treating heart failure. In 2017, Niazi Licensing Corp. sued St. Jude, alleging that St. Jude’s CPS Aim SL catheters infringed its patent. In 2019, Wright decided that parts of Niazi’s patent were too vague to be patented. Specifically, Wright determined that terms in the patent such as “resilient” and “pliable” were too vague to describe the technology clearly enough. The Federal Circuit, while agreeing that the aforementioned terms were broad, maintained that they were definitive enough to properly describe the invention. The case has been sent back to Minnesota to determine whether St. Judge violated Niazi’s revised patent rights.


A St. Paul man was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for making threats against a member of Congress. Jason Robert Burham Karimi, 32, left a threatening voicemail for a U.S. representative in California on Sept. 8, 2021. After the U.S. Capitol Police reviewed the voicemail, which contained graphic descriptions of violence, they were able to trace the phone number to Karimi. Karimi, who said he works as a lobbyist for the marijuana industry, told agents that his voicemail was meant to cause “political pain” to the career of the representative. He also admitted that he was aware that the voicemail would be perceived as a threat. Karimi pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of a threat on Sept. 8, 2021.


SNAP and EBT Accepted here sign. iamge

Hared Nur Jibril of St. Cloud has been sentenced to prison for 30 months and ordered to pay $4,187.999.72 in restitution for wire fraud. Jibril operated Hormud Meat and Grocery Market, and he participated in the SNAP and WIC programs. From 2018 to 2021, Hormud, as well as other employees, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Agriculture Department. They exchanged SNAP and WIC benefits for cash, phone minutes, personal care, and prepared food from Jibril’s restaurant that adjoined the market. As a result of the scheme, SNAP and WIC lost a combined $4.1 million. Additionally, Hormud applied for unemployment benefits despite being employed at the market, receiving $32,724 in unemployment assistance. On Dec. 1, 2021, Jibril pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.


On April 14, Minneapolis City Council agreed to settle with two women injured by police during the 2020 protests that followed the killing of George Floyd. Ana Gelhaye was live streaming a protest outside the Third Precinct when she was shot in the right eye, resulting in severe and permanent injury. Gelhaye will receive $900,000. Samantha Wright was protesting on May 30, 2020. She was struck several times with projectiles fired by police, resulting in injury to her left eye. She will also receive $900,000.


Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This April 8, 2020, file photo shows the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (AP file photo)

On Monday, April 18, U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim granted preliminary approval of a $42 million settlement between a group of restaurants and Smithfield Foods. The multidistrict lawsuit filed back in 2018 alleged that Smithfield manipulated the price of pork by limiting supply, potentially dating back to 2009. Smithfield will also cooperate in prosecution of claims against remaining defendants, which includes Hormel Foods Corp. and Tyson Foods. In June 2021, Smithfield struck a $83 million settlement with direct buyers.

Grant Money Received

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s St. Cloud office has received a grant of Older American Act funds  from the Central Minnesota Council on Aging. The money will be used to provide legal services such as legal advice, counseling, and court representation for Kanabec County seniors. Those 60 years old or older who reside in Kanabec County can receive services, either virtually, in-person at the office, or at a Justice Bus. Services are not provided for criminal matters, estate planning, or real estate transactions. However, many other legal issues of particular importance to seniors — including Social Security and Medicare — can be addressed.


No Charges Filed

No charges were filed following the killing of Amir Locke. Locke was asleep on a coach when nine officers stormed into the apartment belonging to Locke’s cousin, executing a no-knock search warrant. Nine seconds later, Officer Mark Hanneman fatally shot Locke. In a press release, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison declared: “Amir Locke’s life mattered.” Yet, they declined to file criminal charges against the officer. “Under current law — and as awful as the circumstances of this tragedy are — there is not sufficient admissible evidence to support a criminal charge,” Ellison and Freeman said in a press release. Locke’s family plans to pursue a federal civil rights wrongful death lawsuit.

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