The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a video showing what appears to be a local police officer threatening to break the legs of a young man if he attempted to escape.
“A 30-second clip is not going to give us a complete picture of a story so we’re not going to jump to any conclusions at the moment, but in that 30 seconds there’s enough there” to warrant an investigation, executive director Jaylani Hussein said Friday.
Hussein said that he intends to reach out to DOJ officials asking for the inquiry.
“Based on the conversation that’s been taking place nationally,” he continued, “we need a great deal of oversight when this type of abuse takes place.”
The incident, which allegedly happened sometime in March in south Minneapolis, was recorded on a camera phone by one of the young men being arrested and later posted on Twitter, where it has been retweeted nearly 250 times.
In the profanity-laced video, an unidentified officer can be heard telling the suspect: “Plain and simple, if you [expletive] with me, I’m going to break your legs before you get a chance to run.”
It was not immediately clear what led to the arrest, but at one point the youth is heard asking the officer why he was being arrested, to which the policeman responds: “Because I feel like arresting you.”
Police spokesman John Elder said this week that complaints against officers “are taken seriously and investigated to the fullest extent,” but cautioned against making assumptions about the case before the facts are known.
Michael Browne, director of the Office of Police Conduct Review, confirmed that his office had opened an investigation into the origins of the video, but declined to comment further.