Video of officer kicking suspect draws community concern

8:19 AM, Aug 31, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The community is reacting after video of a St. Paul police officer kicking and punching a man during an arrest goes viral. 

As Eric Hightower went before a judge, leaders throughout the metro area were judging what they saw in the video, which was shot on a cell phone.

St. Paul police met with the residents of the Lewis Park Apartments, which is very close to the where the video was shot. Our KARE 11 crew was told this wasn't a community or open meeting, and our team was informed that it was not welcome to attend.

Malachi Mitchell, who lives in the building, wanted to hear what police had to say. 

"This is the second time this happened to this guy. There's a lot of police brutality and god bless that they got it on camera," Mitchell said. "They need to be fired because that was very, very bad.  It was brutality, it was racial and then he (the officer) laughed about it. It was disgusting."

The incident happened in the district of St. Paul City Council Member Melvin Carter III.  He's demanding a quick and thorough inquiry into the matter. 

"Our department is better than what that video shows, and we'll look forward to showing to everybody who's watching, and a lot of folks are watching right now, that this city and this department does maintain a very high standard of professionalism and service," Carter III explained.

Patwin Lawrence, the Board Chair of the Council on Black Minnesotans, says he was saddened by the video, but he wasn't shocked.  He says these types of incidents are happening throughout the country, and this particular one made him think of Rodney King. 

"There will be a march. People hoot and holler and then another incident of something on the national scene will happen and the people will forget about it and then it just repeats itself.  I think what needs to happen is there needs to be change in the community's approach," Lawrence said.


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