City of Richfield releases dashcam footage of traffic stop that led to man being wrongfully detained
The City of Richfield released the dashcam footage from a traffic stop that led to a man being wrongfully detained Friday.
On Saturday, the Bloomington, Edina and Richfield police departments issued a public apology to a man who they say they mistakenly identified and detained during a traffic stop.
The police departments posted the apology after Darrius D. Strong posted a video on Facebook detailing his experience during the traffic stop.
"I felt like my life was in danger," he said. "I had to let people know I’m scared of the cops, so who do I go to?"
Strong is a choreographer and dance instructor at the University of Minnesota, as well as Macalester College. He also teaches at a performance art studio in Bloomington. He’d just finished a class and was headed home on Old Shakopee Road about 1 p.m. when he saw police lights flashing behind him and he pulled over.
"I look up and through the rearview mirror I see a lady cop walking up with a gun, walk up to the door, I threw my hands out the window and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on,’ she asked, ‘Are you Darrius Strong?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I want you to unbuckle your seat belt, you have a warrant out for your arrest,’ I said, ‘Warrant, what do you mean?’"
According to police, someone had falsely used Strong’s name when writing a forged check, which is why there was an arrest warrant in his name. Strong said Sunday that he doesn’t have checks. Two other officers, one from Edina and one from Bloomington, joined the scene. The Richfield officer did further checks in the state database and said they had the wrong guy. One officer let Strong out of the squad and walked with him back to Strong’s car to check his license and make another confirmation of the mistaken identity. Strong was then released.
The information given in the statement and in Strong’s video showed some conflict of details, according to police. Therefore, police stated that they plan to release the squad car dash camera video of the incident on Monday to be transparent. Strong said he hopes it also includes audio, "so you can hear our conversation and the words being said back and forth between me and the cops."
In the online apology, the Richfield Police Department emphasized no enforcement action was taken and they regretted the unfortunate case. Strong said he left that scene and drove to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to try and get his name and record cleared.