Mpls. police investigate use of force after video shows confrontation

A man in a police uniform speaks at a podium.
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo speaks Thursday that an investigation has been opened regarding Facebook video of an arrest Wednesday night in carjacking, showing police officer and bystander, with officer appearing to punch someone, who was arrested.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Updated: 7:36 p.m.

Minneapolis authorities say they’re investigating an incident captured on Facebook video, showing an altercation that includes what appears to be a police officer punching someone on the ground. 

Initial indications are that the incident started late Wednesday afternoon in New Hope. A statement from Robbinsdale and New Hope police said two elderly people were forced from their vehicle in what Robbinsdale police called a “violent carjacking,” witnessed by two Robbinsdale officers. 

They tried to stop the car, and a pursuit followed into Minneapolis until the car stopped on the 3300 block of Knox Avenue and the suspects fled. 

Suburban officers asked for backup, and a Minneapolis police K-9 helped locate one of the suspects nearby, said Medaria Arradondo, the city’s police chief.

The video appears to start as officers are preparing to put that suspect into a squad car, and decide instead to seek medical attention for him first. 

A crowd of people surrounds the car and tells police they have arrested the wrong person and that the person in custody is hurt. 

People stand in front a of police precinct for a press conference.
Activist Toussaint Morrison on Thursday speaks during a press conference outside of the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct, calling for the firing of the officers involved in the altercation Wednesday.
Evan Frost | MPR News

As officers walk away from a Robbinsdale squad car, some kind of disturbance takes place off camera.

The camera turns to the scene on another street nearby as Minneapolis police officers wrestle what looks to be a young man to the ground. One of the officers appears to punch him at least twice as they try to subdue him.

The young man has not been identified. Arradondo said that he was taken into custody as well, but didn’t say for what charge or if he was suspected to have any connection to the initial carjacking incident.

Arradondo on Thursday turned aside calls by some community members to immediately fire the officer, saying investigators were still collecting evidence on what happened.

“Everyone should be upset,” said Billie Jean Van Knight, with the Racial Justice Network, during a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Black lives matter, not just when someone dies. Black lives matter in all aspects. You can't treat people this way.”

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