Community leaders decry video of cop kicking man

4:30 PM, Sep 2, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Community leaders have set up a hotline for people who have concerns about St. Paul police officers after a video surfaced showing a man being kicked during an arrest.

On Saturday, community leaders gathered to denounce the actions by officers, captured in a video posted on YouTube last week.  The video shows an officer kicking 30-year-old Eric Hightower, who is charged with stalking and making terroristic threats against his girlfriend.

"This is a rare occasion and a rare occurrence where you can actually see things in broad daylight," said Jeffry Martin, President of the St. Paul NAACP.

Martin urged others with concerns about possible police misconduct to call a hotline operated by the St. Paul NAACP office.  That hotline number is 612-615-9344.

Meantime, Hightower's attorney says his client will be filing a civil lawsuit against the St. Paul Police Department.

"To be beaten basically like a dog, you have to lay there and take it -- that's pretty traumatizing.  Let alone the physical injuries," said Seamus Mahoney, Hightower's attorney.

Mahoney said Hightower's injuries include an injured ear, bruises and chemical burns from mace.

Two St. Paul police officers have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.  A public information officer for the department repeated Saturday that Chief Tom Smith is very concerned about the matter and will continue to push for answers.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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