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    Police Brutality in St. Paul

    Police Brutality in St. Paul: Black man on ground after being maced, heaving and trying not to vomit. Cop suddenly kicks him, cuffs him, pulls him up by his hair, slams him into police car, and arrests him.



    St. Paul police investigate claim that cops kicked man, slammed face into squad car (w/ video)
    By Mara H. Gottfried mgottfried@pioneerpress.com TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
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    St. Paul police investigate claim that cops kicked man, slammed face into squad car


    A St. Paul police internal affairs investigation is under way after a woman posted a video online Wednesday, Aug. 29, showing a St. Paul police officer kicking a man in the chest as he is lying on the ground. He and another officer then slammed the man's face into a squad car hood. Officers also appear to be pulling the man's hair.


    Police arrested the man, Eric Ronnell Hightower, and he is being held in the Ramsey County jail.


    "I really think they (the officers) need to be reprimanded," said Angela Hulbert, who posted the video on YouTube after a friend gave it to her. She is a friend of Hightower's and two of her children witnessed what happened. "That's just so uncalled for. He wasn't resisting arrest, he was doing everything he was asked to do."


    Police were looking for Hightower, 30, for allegedly threatening to kill an acquaintance, said Howie Padilla, St. Paul police spokesman. Officers arrested him Tuesday about 6 p.m. by Lewis Park at Woodbridge and Milford streets.


    "The video of a St. Paul Police officer striking a suspect raises serious questions about the conduct of the officer," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in a written statement. "I spoke to Police Chief Tom Smith and he has begun a full investigation.


    "I grew up in St. Paul having full confidence in the St. Paul Police Department," Coleman continued. "I have high expectations for the department and its employees. We will fully investigate and take appropriate action."


    During a press conference in the shadow of the St. Paul police headquarters Wednesday, Chief Thomas Smith said he had watched the video, and it "raised some serious concerns about the use of force of one of my officers."


    Smith said he called for an expedited internal affairs investigation as soon as he saw the video.


    "I want to know the entire story," Smith said. "I want to know what happened before this video started, exactly what everybody saw at the scene, both civilians and officers, and what they heard during the suspect's arrest.


    "I want to know what happened from start to finish in this instance... The public has a right to know as well."


    Smith identified the officer seen in the video kicking Hightower as Jesse Zilge. Smith said Wednesday he was not familiar with Zilge's personnel record -- including any previous disciplinary action -- and did not know how long Zilge had been with the force.


    Smith said Zilge was placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation takes place.


    St. Paul Police President Dave Titus said Wednesday, "This cop was dealing with a very dangerous individual in a very dangerous situation. Back-up was not immediately available. And maybe our officials shouldn't make comments about their concern until the investigation has run its course. This is a good cop."


    Titus said he couldn't elaborate on what made it a dangerous situation. "It will be very clear in the investigation," he said.


    Before the news conference, Padilla called videos "a snippet of the totality of a story. They don't necessarily allow for the entire answer or the entire story to be told. That's what we're trying to get at in the internal affairs investigation."


    Hulbert said she contacted the mayor's office Wednesday and spoke with a sergeant in internal affairs.


    A police report says Zilge was the primary reporting officer and Steven Petron was the secondary reporting officer.


    In the video, Hightower can be heard shouting at an officer, "Assaulted who?" and "Can you tell me what's going on?" and "I don't have a warrant out for my arrest!"


    Savanah Wellman, Hulbert's 9-year-old daughter, said she saw Hightower, known as "Nelly," on the ground. Police were saying he had hit someone the night before and Hightower was denying it, she said.


    Savanah said she did not see Hightower doing anything before the officer kicked him. She believes the officer kicked Hightower in the throat.


    "I was thinking that was really not acceptable to kick him like that," she said.


    Before the kick, the officer had sprayed Hightower with a chemical irritant and used a Taser on him, a man in the video can be heard saying. A police report that included "weapons used by police" listed hands/fists/feet, Taser and chemical.


    There were a lot of people at the park who saw what happened, including children, Savanah said.


    Police became aware of the video Wednesday morning and Chief Smith "immediately asked that an internal investigation begin," Padilla said.


    Padilla said police are not going to rush to any conclusions because they want to get accurate answers, and that the public should expect the investigation to take weeks, not months.


    "I think it's safe to say some people might be shocked by the video," Padilla said. "Our investigators are looking to sift through that and get to the answers."


    In 2006, Zilge appeared in a Pioneer Press article as a police officer for St. Paul Park.


    Hightower was arrested on suspicion of making terroristic threats, obstructing legal process and criminal damage to property. He has not been charged.


    His criminal history includes convictions for violating an order for protection, obstructing legal process and petty theft. He was charged in 2011 with fifth-degree drug possession and third-degree assault, and has pleaded guilty to both.


    In the drug case, residents in the 800 block of Rice Street in St. Paul called 911 in July 2011 after they saw Hightower selling drugs in the alley. When one person told him to leave, he threatened to "beat his ass," according to the criminal complaint. Witnesses told police that Hightower started chasing people and grabbed a golf club someone was holding.


    Police later found suspected crack and marijuana in Hightower's buttocks, the complaint said.


    The assault case stemmed from an August 2011 incident in which Hightower greeted an acquaintance with, "What up, boy?" according to a criminal complaint. The man took offense at the term "boy" and they started to argue. The man told police that Hightower punched him in the face, knocking out his two front teeth.


    Hightower is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 14 on both the drug and assault cases from 2011.


    Emily Gurnon contributed to this story. Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262. Follow her at twitter.com/MaraGottfried or twitter.com/ppUsualSuspects.
    http://www.twincities.com/localnews/...laim-that-cops

    http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comme...man_on_ground/

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    It sometimes amazes me what police have to adhere to.

    Here you have a career criminal with multiple arrests and convictions for drugs and assault who is threatening to kill someone and violently resists arrest. If you or I were to beat his ass, no one would bat an eye. In fact, many people would cheer and be thankful that such a thug got what he deserved.

    But if in the heat of the moment a cop kicks him after he violently resisted arrest.................. OH NO!!! Police brutality!!! Who cares what the drug dealing thug did, let him go. Nothing he has done, not multiple assaults, not drug dealing, not even threatening to commit murder compares to the horror of a cop kicking a violent criminal.


    Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Completely Average View Post
    It sometimes amazes me what police have to adhere to.

    Here you have a career criminal with multiple arrests and convictions for drugs and assault who is threatening to kill someone and violently resists arrest. If you or I were to beat his ass, no one would bat an eye. In fact, many people would cheer and be thankful that such a thug got what he deserved.

    But if in the heat of the moment a cop kicks him after he violently resisted arrest.................. OH NO!!! Police brutality!!! Who cares what the drug dealing thug did, let him go. Nothing he has done, not multiple assaults, not drug dealing, not even threatening to commit murder compares to the horror of a cop kicking a violent criminal.


    Right?
    How was he resisting arrest? He was down and was trying to throw up because he was sick from the pepper spray.
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    I thought Hightower was a joke name only used in the Police Academy movies.

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    That cop is such a little $#@!.

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    *Looks at watch* is it that time again for another police brutality article/video?.







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    Aww poor criminal was treated badly.

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    y doesn't ppl look at the cops that do good this cop could of had a bad day and this guy added ice on top u never know, these guys go through $#@! all day every day image the asshole that cut u off on the highway 1 n a blue moon thats what theses guys go through 24/7
    thats y im never a $#@! to them regardless bc they have the badge and if they wanna act like that then the camera can watch i would take a beating for some $$$ even though i proly could kick there ass

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    Quote Originally Posted by NARCsnake View Post
    y doesn't ppl look at the cops that do good this cop could of had a bad day and this guy added ice on top u never know, these guys go through $#@! all day every day image the asshole that cut u off on the highway 1 n a blue moon thats what theses guys go through 24/7
    thats y im never a $#@! to them regardless bc they have the badge and if they wanna act like that then the camera can watch i would take a beating for some $$$ even though i proly could kick there ass
    Awww, the cop could of had a bad day. I had a bad day today, let me kick you while you are trying not to throw up.

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    Nothing wrong with what went on there. If he's trying to arrest him, he's pepper sprayed him, used a taser, and the guy still refuses to cooperate, then it's an elevation of use of force. Nothing wrong with that at all.




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    this ^^^^^

    typical

    whe do nutn we just hitn da stor

    im sure the cop pulled up and went ooh he looks lik that 1 guy
    Last edited by NARCsnake; 08-30-2012 at 04:32.

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    Dude, you are going to justify a random needless kick to the chest on a guy who was on the ground wretching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    Dude, you are going to justify a random needless kick to the chest on a guy who was on the ground wretching?
    You gonna say the kick wasn't needed based on zero knowledge of what is legal, and what was going on? I explained it pretty easily.




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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    You gonna say the kick wasn't needed based on zero knowledge of what is legal, and what was going on? I explained it pretty easily.
    I don't need knowledge of what is legal to see that it wasn't necessary. Please enlighten me as to why it was necessary for the cop to kick the man as he was laying down, wretching...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    I don't need knowledge of what is legal to see that it wasn't necessary. Please enlighten me as to why it was necessary for the cop to kick the man as he was laying down, wretching...
    smh

    http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread...=1#post5899421

    I already freakin' explained it. If you don't believe it, then that's all you have to say. You don't understand things about law enforcement, affective arresting, etc., etc., etc., etc. Put on a badge, approach a guy twice your size, a dangerous known criminal, and play patty cake with him until he volunteers to get in the car. Make sure your family brings your phone or a tablet/laptop to the hospital so you can use tapatalk to say, "F34R was right".




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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    smh

    http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread...=1#post5899421

    I already freakin' explained it. If you don't believe it, then that's all you have to say. You don't understand things about law enforcement, affective arresting, etc., etc., etc., etc. Put on a badge, approach a guy twice your size, a dangerous known criminal, and play patty cake with him until he volunteers to get in the car. Make sure your family brings your phone or a tablet/laptop to the hospital so you can use tapatalk to say, "F34R was right".
    Ok you're right. I guess that's why the Mayor asked the police chief to launch and investigation, cause it was clearly all in order. smh *leaves thread*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    Ok you're right. I guess that's why the Mayor asked the police chief to launch and investigation, cause it was clearly all in order. smh *leaves thread*
    An investigation HAS to be done when something like this is shown. Did you read the OP? If a guy shoots at me and shoot him after his first shot went off, an independent investigation HAS to be done to see whether I was in the right or not. No difference here. It's all explained in the OP why the investigation is being done ffs.

    If a guy is being put under arrest, and he refuses to cooperate.. you go through several levels of force depending on the situation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Read that thoroughly.




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    I feel bad for that cops kids...

    ... daddy is about to fired and enter a new career as a rent-a-cop.

    All you can really d is catch them on tape... makes it a really simple case provided you capture it.
    What annoys me is the other cops deliberately trying to block the witnesses from recording the incident

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayWalker View Post
    I feel bad for that cops kids...

    ... daddy is about to fired and enter a new career as a rent-a-cop.

    All you can really d is catch them on tape... makes it a really simple case provided you capture it.
    What annoys me is the other cops deliberately trying to block the witnesses from recording the incident
    Luckily for cops, investigations actually get all the information and they don't rely on a recorded video that only shows what these people want to be shown.




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    catch it all on film. makes things really easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayWalker View Post
    catch it all on film. makes things really easy.
    It isn't ever really easy. I had a lady come make a complaint on me about 10 years ago. I came to her house to arrest her son on warrants that were issued. She was about 70. So she says he's not home. I asked if we could search the house since he lived there too. She said yes, and me and my partner walked through and checked the rooms, etc. He wasn't there. We thanked her for her help, and left. The next day I was called into the office and put on admin leave. I was told that the lady came to the department and showed them a bruise on her chest where I had punched her. I explained that the things she said definitely didn't happen lol. So, the investigation went on. I turned over my video that was recorded from the time I left the judges office, got there, did my thing, and left. I STILL had to go through a questioning process, polygraph test, and a psychiatric evaluation.

    Please don't say "catch it all on film. makes things really easy"
    Last edited by F34R; 08-30-2012 at 05:29. Reason: spelling error




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    Pshh that kick wasn't bad compared to the taser and the spray.I would rather took the kick personally. I believe there was more to this than the video because he was on the ground already. So we don't know what entirely went down so i can't make a accurate conclusion.

    Last edited by Silvy; 08-30-2012 at 05:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    It isn't ever really easy. I had a lady come make a complaint on me about 10 years ago. I came to her house to arrest her son on warrants that were issued. She was about 70. So she says he's not home. I asked if we could search the house since he lived there too. She said yes, and me and my partner walked through and checked the rooms, etc. He wasn't there. We thanked her for her help, and left. The next day I was called into the office and put on admin leave. I was told that the lady came to the department and showed them a bruise on her chest where I had punched her. I explained that the things she said definitely didn't happen lol. So, the investigation went on. I turned over my video that was recorded from the time I left the judges office, got there, did my thing, and left. I STILL had to go through a questioning process, polygraph test, and a psychiatric evaluation.

    Please don't say "catch it all on film. makes things really easy"
    so you're saying that the video helped clear u.... so whats your argument?

    also- you have a running personal cam on duty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayWalker View Post
    so you're saying that the video helped clear u.... so whats your argument?

    also- you have a running personal cam on duty?
    Video doesn't provide anyone with knowledge of what can and can't be done. I explained where that kick can be completely justified, regardless of what people SEE on that video. I posted a link for others to read about the use of force.

    There are things you do to order people to comply so that the risk of danger is minimized for you, and for the suspect. None of that seems to be done in that video.




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    "Is there anything less that could have been done?" is always a better question to be asking after the fact than "Is there anything more than could have been done?"

    The latter usually follows a tragedy.


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