Second cop on leave as St. Paul looks into video of arrest

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 1, 2012 - 5:14 PM
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The St. Paul Police Department is investigating after a video posted Wednesday on YouTube.com showed an officer kicking a man.

Photo: ., Courtesy YouTube.com

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A second St. Paul police officer is on paid administrative leave in connection with a YouTube video showing a man being kicked and roughed up while being arrested.

Officer Jesse Zilge was placed on paid leave Wednesday after the video was posted that morning. He is seen alone with the man, Eric R. Hightower, for about half of the five-minute video. The second officer was put on paid leave Thursday, said police spokesman Howie Padilla. Police declined to name the officer.

New information led police Chief Thomas Smith to place the second officer on leave, according to a news release. Police declined to say what the information was, citing the ongoing internal affairs investigation into the officers' actions.

Officer Steven Petron is listed on the police report in Hightower's arrest, but is not the second officer on paid leave.

Hightower, 30, was arrested Tuesday evening. He was suspected of making threats against his ex-girlfriend.

The video shows Hightower being kicked in the chest by one officer and then being handcuffed and slammed onto the hood of a squad car by two officers. More officers also arrived at the scene.

Hightower was charged Thursday in Ramsey County District Court with aggravated stalking, terroristic threats and property damage. He was released from jail on bond Thursday evening.

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