DULUTH – A Duluth police review team found Wednesday that the force officers used in a Tuesday night arrest — including three strikes from an officer’s knee to a suspect — was consistent with the department’s policies and training.
The use of force was called into question after a bystander posted video of the incident on social media. It appears to show officers struggling to contain a man on the ground, with one officer hitting his knee into the man’s back and thigh as another bystander yelled that their use of force was “not necessary.”
Police Chief Mike Tusken on Wednesday released some police body and dashcam videos leading up to the arrest showing that the arrestee, a 28-year-old man who was wanted on a felony domestic assault warrant from Cloquet, Minn., had fled on foot when an officer who recognized him approached.
The foot chase ended near a Speedway store on E. 6th Avenue and 4th Street. The man fell to the ground and resisted arrest, according to a Police Department news release.
Officers told the man, who was lying face down on the ground, to put his hands behind his back. The officer’s knee strikes didn’t subdue the man, and the officer then warned that he would use a Taser, at which point the man cooperated and the Taser wasn’t used, according to the police description.
Video shows an officer later asking the handcuffed man if he was all right and telling him to take some deep breaths.
Tusken said at a news conference that nobody was injured in the encounter.
A team including command staff and a use-of-force coordinator reviewed the incident “as we do with all use of force incidents,” the news release said. Tusken said he chose to release the video “in the interest of transparency and authorized under MN State Statute 13.82 Subdivision 15 to dispel widespread rumor and unrest.”