Frey: Internal investigation underway after alleged use of force incident by officer, 1 in custody

Josh Skluzacek, Tommy Wiita, Helen Do & Ben Rodgers
Updated: March 25, 2021 07:37 PM
Created: March 25, 2021 11:02 AM

Minneapolis city officials say an internal investigation is underway after a video circulating on social media purportedly showed a police officer using force against an in-custody person.

Thursday afternoon, community members and activists gathered on the city's north side to denounce the incident. 

During the press conference, activists noted the individuals involved in the incident were teens. The activists also claimed one teen was punched eight times by an officer.

"Yesterday was a normal day in Minneapolis, and I'll explain why," CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said. "It's a normal day in Minneapolis because the law enforcement here in the city of Minneapolis show up in our community because they have been trained to be warriors, not peace keepers." 

He later added, "Yesterday was a normal day because our law enforcement showed up and targeted our youth, as they do all the time. 
The group of activists spanning multiple organizations in the metro called for the firing of the officers involved in the incident, as well as the release of any body camera footage of the incident. 

"Every last single one of you saw what we saw, you saw it," Elizer Darris, of the Minnesota Freedom Fund, said. "You saw him go down on the ground, you saw them get on top of him. Now we demand an immediate termination." 

 He added, "We need to crack and destroy that blue line. That blue line is murderous, it is dangerous and it is time."    

Asked about the incident Thursday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the case had already been submitted to internal affairs and an investigation is underway.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo added that the investigation is in "real early" stages but the suspect in the case was taken into custody.

"Last night's incident, public info is that a violent felony carjacking happened in New Hope, and was eventually picked up by the Robbinsdale Police Department. Once they were conducting their stop, a help call was made, MPD assisted. At some point in time, they needed to make sure one of the suspects got medical attention, and due to the crowd growing they needed to get him away from there to get that attention," Arradondo stated.

According to New Hope and Robbinsdale police departments, at 3:50 p.m., officers saw a vehicle taken in a violent carjacking in New Hope. Officers attempted to pull the suspect vehicle over in the area of 36th Avenue North and June Avenue North but the vehicle fled into Minneapolis before stopping in the 3300 block of Knox Avenue North. At that point, police said three suspects got out and ran away, and a Minneapolis Police K-9 was requested.

Officers eventually found one of the suspects hiding in a nearby shed and took that juvenile male suspect into custody. At that time, police said officers were met by a crowd of people, many of whom obstructed officers and made it unsafe for an ambulance to come into the area.

At some point, bystander video captured the incident involving officers and the suspect that has been called into question.

Arradondo addressed the community, saying, "Allow us the time for us to conduct a thorough investigation."

Minneapolis and Robbinsdale officers were at the scene. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office was also seen on the bystander video. 

The arrested person was turned over to the New Hope Police Department as part of its carjacking investigation.


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