The American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Minnesota chapter is calling for an investigation into a police department after year-old dash cam footage of a traffic stop was recently released.
The incident, which occurred on July 28, 2016, was released in late June of 2017.
It shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force agent opening the door of an SUV before assaulting the driver, Anthony Promvongsa.
"This is an example, a textbook example of excessive force by police. It was really a vicious attack on this young man, it was not just an arrest but it was really an attack, a beating, an assault," said John Gordon, interim legal director for the ACLU of Minnesota.
The ACLU, which has a streamlined reporting process for people experiencing potential cases of police brutality, said that, "there's evidence that racial profiling and police brutality are systematic problems that span the Worthington Police Department.This type of brutality by officers is not only unconstitutional--it's terrifying for the individual being assaulted and for the community as a whole. People should not fear that they could be attacked by the police for no reason or while being detained for investigative purposes.
Communities of color already have a tenuous relationship with police, and unacceptable behavior like this makes it harder for it ever to change.Authorities say the video only captured a small part of what led to charges against the driver. (One of the officers appears to turn off his body camera's microphone throughout the the incident, muting the recording audio.)
Warning: The video contains strong profanity
According to the criminal complaint, Promvongsa caught the attention of an off-duty officer by following closely, speeding past him and later saying he "was going to get his boys and come back to get them." The officer said he believed Promvongsa was attempting to harm him and another off-duty officer. They called dispatch.
The officer and Agent Joe Joswiak then attempted to pull Promvongsa over, but said he wouldn't stop his vehicle at first. The video picks up what happened next.
In a statement, Promvongsa said he is scared of future interactions with police. "I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seat belt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack," he said.
Promvognsa was driving with a revoked license. He's charged with using his car as a weapon and fleeing an officer. A trial date has not been set. The law enforcement agencies involved has asked people to be "patient as the criminal case progresses."
Story written by CBS46 Digital Content Producer Chris Price.
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