"Long way back to normal," Star Tribune
Al Hixon, 47, found himself face down on the pavement of a Golden Valley gas station, pepper spray shot into his nose, and an police officer's foot firming planted on the back of his neck on what he thought would be a typical Saturday in April 2005. Hixon was driving his daughters to birthday parties when he stopped at a gas station to put oil in his blue jaguar. Moments later he was on the ground asking, "What did I do? What did I do?"
Police mistook Hixon, who is black, for a white male who robbed $7 from a bank. Despite the 911 dispatcher describing a 5-foot-8 white male, Police still went after Hixon.
Since the April 2005 incident, Hixon has endured chronic post-traumatic stress syndrome and despression. Hixon, who studied electrical engineering at Tuskegee Institute and was part of the Ph.D program at the University of Florida, now owns his own construction company and never thought something like this could happen to his, according to the Star Tribune.
"At my age with my educational background, I never imagined something like this could happen to me," Hixon was quoted saying in the Star Tribune article.
A federal jury awared Hixon $778,000 in damages during a September trial.