Minneapolis police say they are looking into a video that appears to show two uniformed Minneapolis police officers standing by as a bouncer repeatedly punches a handcuffed man lying facedown outside a downtown strip club.
A bystander made a cellphone video of part of the incident, which is said to have occurred Saturday night outside Augie’s Cabaret and posted it to social media on Sunday. By Tuesday morning, it had been viewed more than 16,000 times on Facebook and shared hundreds of times.
The 10-second video shows a man on the ground with his arms cuffed behind his back as a bouncer punches him three times before being pulled away by someone in the crowd. A police report said the incident occurred at 2:17 a.m., and that David S. Mitchell, 28, of Burnsville was cited for 5th-degree assault “after officers witnessed him assault a security [sic] at that location.”
Reached by phone Tuesday, the bouncer, Lonnie Davis, who is identified in a police report, declined to comment, referring questions to Augie’s. No one answered the phone at the club, where the voice mailbox was full.
Mitchell was released to medics “for treatment of injuries received during the altercation,” the report said.
The police report identifies the arresting officers as Tobias Anderson and Joseph Klimmek.
Bystanders can be heard in the background shouting at the bouncer to stop, with one man saying off-screen, “Bro, you can’t do that, man.”
Two officers are seen in the video, one of whom is standing over the handcuffed man and speaking into his police radio. Neither intervenes when the punches start flying.
Their role in the incident is being examined, said department spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Michal.
“We are looking into it right now … to make sure everything was handled correctly,” Michal said. She cautioned into reading too much into the clip, saying that it didn’t capture the entire episode.
In a subsequent statement, Michal that the officers arrived after the first assault and that one of the officers turned on his camera to capture at least part of the altercation.
“It appears that an officer was near the second incident and was in the process of activating his body camera and speaking into his shoulder microphone at the time it occurred,” Michal said.
Imani Jaafar, director of the Office of Police Conduct Review, which investigates complaints against police, said Tuesday that her office was reviewing the incident to determine whether to launch a formal investigation.
“We are going to take it under consideration,” she said. “We’re in the beginning stages of looking at it.”