A Minneapolis police officer has been relieved of duty while his department investigates a profanity-laced video in which he apparently threatens to break the legs of a suspect if he attempts to escape.
The March incident was recorded on a camera phone by one of the young men being arrested in south Minneapolis. In the video, the unidentified officer can be heard telling the suspect: “Plain and simple, if you [expletive] with me, I’m gonna break your legs before you get a chance to run.”
It was not clear what led to the arrest, but at one point the youth is heard asking the officer why he was being taken into custody, to which the officer responds: “Because I feel like arresting you.”
The officer’s face remains obscured throughout the 30-second video.
Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang, who chairs the council’s public safety committee, said he was informed Tuesday that Officer Rod Webber is on paid leave while an internal investigation into the incident continues. “That’s standard,” he said.
Lt. Bob Kroll, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis president, said he doesn’t believe Webber has been interviewed yet by the department’s Internal Affairs Division, which is conducting the investigation.
Kroll said he saw “bits and pieces” of the video but won’t comment because what’s being shown might be out of context from the rest of the situation that day. He said Webber acknowledged that it is his voice in the video.
Administration officials either declined to comment or couldn’t be reached late Tuesday.
In April, police department spokesman John ElderElder cautioned against making assumptions about the case before the facts are known.
“The video is currently under investigation and we are unable to comment on the content of the video,” Elder said. “MPD values our connection to the community and we strive to build public trust. This is why complaints against officers are taken seriously and investigated to the fullest extent. We will make information available to the public as soon as legally possible.”
The video, which includes some profanity, can be viewed on Twitter, where it was posted by @StIllA_Hitta.