September 13, 2017 07:16 PM
Residents of a Minneapolis community are upset a police officer charged with the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl may get out of jail.
Prosecutors have alleged that, on at least one instance, Minneapolis officer David Campbell sexually abused the girl in his uniform - with a gun, on duty, in a squad car.
Campbell has been suspended from the Minneapolis Police Department. He is a 26-year veteran. And he has also patrolled the Little Earth United Tribes urban community for years as an off-duty police officer. That community was founded in 1973, and its website said it has nearly 1,000 residents.
But Wednesday, Campbell walked into a courtroom in an orange jumpsuit to stand in front of a judge who ordered him to stay away from the girl.
Bond was set at $100,000 with conditions and $250,000 without.
Campbell has nine children. And his family sat in the front row. He told the court he had no permanent address. He was living at a La Quinta Inn when he was arrested.
The prosecutor argued for a higher bail because she said his victim was terrified of him. He’s accused of exposing his "naked penis to her," "touching her breasts," and putting "his hand under her bra before kissing her breasts." The abuse is alleged to have occurred at different hotels in Minneapolis, Roseville and Bloomington.
Prosecutors said Campbell also assaulted the girl during a “ride along” the victim did in his squad car while he was on duty.
They also said Campbell threatened he would shoot her in the head if she told people about the sexual abuse.
Advocates and activists in the Little Earth community worry that if Campbell makes bail, he will intimidate people who’ve filed complaints against him.
"People knew him," said James Cross, a community activist at Little Earth. "Some (saw) the good side of him, bringing food and toys. But the other ones who knew him are glad that he finally got caught and held accountable.”
Cross said the Native American community feels the stain of the allegations.
"Just because he’s Native American doesn’t mean that’s how our community is," Cross said. "That’s his behavior.”
He said other people have complained about Campbell’s alleged excessive force or inappropriate sexual conduct over the years.
"He might be a good man at home," Cross said. "A positive role model for some. But deep down in that black life he was living, he finally got caught."
The City of Minneapolis shows 21 complaints against Campbell since 1993. The Communities Against Police Brutality group tracked those complaints for the last 17 years.
"The question is why has there been no discipline," said David Bicking of Communities Against Police Brutality.
"The answer is that’s not unique to this case. There has been no discipline with Minneapolis police officers from civilian complaints."
Campbell’s lawyer Bruce Rivers said his client is innocent. Rivers said Campbell will tell his story in court and has a clean criminal and employment record.
He said Campbell will live with a friend an hour away from the Twin Cities.
Updated: September 13, 2017 07:16 PM
Created: September 13, 2017 07:14 PM
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