Caught On Tape: Did Cops Who Beat Driver Go Too Far?
MINNEAPOLIS (CBS/AP) Did police use excessive force during an incident with a Minnesota man after they pulled him over for speeding?
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan told the Star-Tribune that he plans to ask for help from the FBI in investigating a disturbing police video that shows 42-year-old Darryl Jenkins being beaten by as many as six police officers. Jenkins was Tasered several times and beaten so badly he defecated on himself and officers, according to his lawyer, Paul Edlund.
"The kicking is troubling to me," Dolan told the paper after watching the video early Monday. "The public will want an investigation."
What caused such a strong police reaction?
Officer Richard Walker told CBS affiliate WCCO that Jenkins smelled of alcohol and was uncooperative, but the nuances of the case are hard to make it out in the grainy police video.
Jenkins says he was headed towards a friend's house after a late-night dinner and three beers at Rudolph's Bar-B-Que when he was pulled over for allegedly speeding Feb. 19 in north Minneapolis.
In the video, Officer Walker can be seen approaching Jenkins' car and after a brief exchange, Walker opens the door. When Jenkins gets out, Walker wrestles him to the ground.
Jenkins is then seen being held on the ground face down in a snow bank. When several other officers arrive at the scene, they start punching and kicking Jenkins, who appears to offer no resistance.
"They punched him kicked him, elbowed him, they Tased him several times. He was beaten to the point where he literally defecated on himself and on officers. He was also beaten to the point of unconsciousness," Jenkin's attorney told WCCO.
Photos of Jenkins after the incident show that his face was badly bruised, and he had to receive seven stitches.
But Walker and his fellow officers' actions were deemed appropriate for the situation after the tape was reviewed by a supervisor, a watch commander and internal affairs officers.
According to the police report, Jenkins resisted arrest; he was charged with assault and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. Those charges have since been dropped "in the interest of justice," according to court papers.
Both Jenkins and Walker are African-American. "This is not a hate thing, this is just a people issue and it needs to be dealt with," Jenkins told reporters.
Did Minnesota police go too far? You be the judge.
More at CBS affiliate WCCO.
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