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The daughter of a 65-year-old St. Paul man who was shot and killed by police as he wielded a knife has sued the city and two police officers who fired their weapons, alleging they were negligent and disregarded department policies in the deadly encounter.

The lawsuit in the death of Yia Xiong comes a month after state and county prosecutors decided to not charge the officers and said the shooting was justified. Kyle Farrar, the Houston-based attorney representing Xiong's daughter Mai Tong Xiong, said he found the officers' body camera footage shocking and that officers made the situation chaotic instead of attempting to de-escalate it.

"That whole scene from initial contact — yelling at him, with the weapons the officers had, before charging into his apartment — it's excessive and just not what they were trained to do," Farrar said in a phone interview.

The suit was filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court. It names the city and officers Abdirahman Dahir, who shot Xiong, and Noushue Cha, who deployed his Taser, as defendants. Kamal Baker, a spokesman for St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, said in an email that "the city is aware of the complaint and will engage in a thorough review before responding to the Court."

The officers were also "egregious" in their actions because of Xiong's condition, the suit alleges. It states that Xiong was a Hmong immigrant who could not converse in English, that he was partially deaf and that he was a veteran with combat trauma. Xiong served as a soldier in the Royal Lao Army after being recruited into the CIA's clandestine war in Laos, where he fought on America's behalf, the suit states. His time in the military led to hearing loss and lasting trauma, the suit says.

Police were called Feb. 11, 2023, to Xiong's apartment complex, the Winslow Commons, which is Section 8 housing for people 62 and over, according to the apartment website. A 911 caller said Xiong entered a toddler's private birthday party in the complex's party room and offered money to children before being asked to leave, according to the 39-page report from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The caller said Xiong later returned with a knife and threatened the caller's adult son. One of the adults at the birthday party said Xiong was able to respond to her questions in English, according to the investigation report.

Body camera footage shows officers entering the complex as someone tells them to "hurry," before following Xiong as he entered his apartment and closed the door behind him. Cha pushed the door open, after which Xiong begins moving toward the officers with the 12-inch knife. Dahir then fired his rifle and Cha deployed his Taser.

Xiong's death led to protests that included members and organizers from the Hmong community who were outraged and believed the death was avoidable. Three City Council members denounced the decision to not charge the officers.

The lawsuit alleges that the officers disregarded department de-escalation policies.

While the lawsuit says the recent reforms after George Floyd's killing by police resulted in good policies, it alleges that a "culture" remains in Minnesota law enforcement that encourages officers to disregard reforms. It accuses the two officers, "encouraged by the culture of the St. Paul Police Department," of deliberately ignoring policies.

"There's been good changes … but the changes aren't worth anything if they aren't followed," Farrar said.