Roseville Police Issue Release in Regard to Video Posted to Social Media

May 30, 2018 10:11 PM

Police in Roseville are reacting to a video posted on social media Wednesday.

The over-three-minute video shows two officers attempting to restrain a man after responding to a domestic disturbance call on May 22. The video appears to show the man flailing, and also shows one of the officers striking him on the back of his shoulder area repeatedly.


"He's got a spine injury," a woman on the video can be heard yelling as officers attempt to restrain the man's arms behind his back. "Why are you punching him? Why are you punching him?

"I'm telling you, he's got a spine injury."

The department said it was releasing information on the incident from police reports "in order to provide context of the entire incident and remain consistent with our commitment to transparency and accountability."

They also say they have requested video taken by witnesses at the scene as part of an internal review, since the posted video only shows part of the incident. But so far, those witnesses have refused their request.

According to a lengthy release from the department, which linked to a copy of the video posted on their YouTube page, the Ramsey County Emergency Communication Center received several 911 calls regarding a reported domestic disturbance on the 600 block of Highway 36. One of the callers reportedly informed police that the resident had asked her to call 911 to have the male removed.

Two officers were dispatched to the disturbance, the release states. The dispatch center is reported to have advised the officers there was a warning that residents at the address had been hostile toward law enforcement during past calls for service.

When the first officer arrived, he reportedly located one of the 911 callers who allegedly said the male and female were still inside arguing. The release claims that as the officer tried to separate the two, the female struck the male on the side of the head. But the officer was allegedly able to get the two separated, and the male exited the apartment to talk with the other officer.

The officers reportedly believed the male could have assaulted the female, based on both the 911 calls and his level of agitation, the release said. 

Police maintain the man became agitated, and despite several orders to stop resisting, he is alleged to have clenched both his fists. The officer inside reportedly heard his partner struggling to take the man into custody and ran outside to assist.

The release goes on to claim that after several failed attempts to gain control, one of the officers used a taser, but it had only minimal effect. The release alleges a short burst of a chemical agent also had only minimal impact. Despite finally bringing the man to the ground, the release states, the two officers were unable to gain control of his hands and arms.

The officers also reportedly feared the fact the man kept reaching toward his waist area meant he might be reaching for some type of weapon.

In an attempt to get his hand away from his waist area and gain control of his arms, the release says officers performed "several strikes to his shoulder area." Those strikes also seemed to have minimal impact, according to the release.

Officers were able to hold him on the ground until additional officers arrived, the release said.

"You've got your foot on his neck," the woman can be heard to yell after other officers arrive. "He has a spine injury."

Paramedics were reportedly requested to evaluate the man, who allegedly continued to kick, yell and thrash while in handcuffs, reportedly complaining he could not breathe. The release goes on to state that after being taken to a hospital for evaluation he told officers "that he had been struggling with mental health issues and that his doctor had encouraged him to be admitted earlier in the day."

He was released from custody to seek further mental health treatment at the hospital, the release states.

According to the release, the man was issued a citation for obstructing the legal process and the female was cited for disorderly conduct. 

After reviewing the full reports on the incident, and reviewing the partial cell phone video posted to social media Wednesday, Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig issued a statement saying the officers handled the situation appropriately.

"Force used by law enforcement is never pretty to look at and Roseville police officers use it judiciously when taking someone into custody. Detailed reports were written by the officers involved in this incident and I previously reviewed them.

"In the video you saw two officers, one on each side of the male they were taking into custody. You can see the male subject's right arm is alongside his body and you also see the officer struggling to move the suspect's arm behind his back in order to apply handcuffs. The male subject uses his strength to defeat this. The other officer struck the upper right arm several times. The report indicates the officer did this in order to obtain compliance from the suspect and effect the arrest. The officer pauses in between the strikes to give the suspect enough time to comply.

"Sadly, the suspect does not comply until other officers arrived and with enough combined strength to finally overcome the suspect's active resistance. You do not see any strikes to the head of the suspect because officers were acting in compliance with the Roseville Police Department's Use of Force policy and training. They give measured responses to the active resistance of the suspect." 

The release concluded by saying the department "takes all allegations of excessive force seriously. We have reached out to those involved and provided information on filing a formal complaint."


Frank Rajkowski

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