A man attacked by a K-9 and kicked by St. Paul police in an incident captured on video is suing the officers involved and their supervisors, saying they violated his civil rights.
Frank A. Baker had parked his Jeep near his apartment building about 10 p.m. on June 24 about the time that police got an anonymous tip someone with a gun was in front of the building.
Several officers responded to the anonymous call, where an officer said he spotted Baker and that he matched the description of the man with a gun, according to the lawsuit.
A K-9 handler, officer Brian Ficcadenti, ordered Baker to get out of his car and put his hands up, which Baker did, according to the lawsuit. However, 20 seconds later, Ficcadenti released a K-9, who bore down on Baker’s leg.
Video shows Baker screaming in pain and being dragged to the ground by the dog as officers shouted, “Get him!”
Baker spent two weeks in a hospital. One officer involved in the incident, Brett Palkowitsch, left the department. Ficcadenti was put on a 30-day suspension. Other officers at the scene and named in the lawsuit are Joe Dick, Brian Nowicki, John and Anthony Spencer. Retired Sgt. Mark Ficcadenti, Sgt. Mike Ernster and former chief Tom Smith are also named in the suit, although current chief Todd Axtell was sworn in the day before the incident occurred.
Neither St. Paul police nor the police union could be reached for comment.
After making the video public in November, Axtell, apologized for his officers’ actions.
“As St. Paul’s police chief, I’m disappointed and upset by what the video shows,” Axtell said at a news conference. “I’m profoundly saddened. I’m releasing this video today because it’s the right thing to do.”