Police Brutality Suit Leads To Policy Changes

Though the sensationalized case of Derryl Jenkins is now almost two years old, the Minneapolis Chief of Police Tim Dolan just released an internal memo Dec. 1 addressing the situation. Blaming improper training in group handcuffing situations for the unnecessary violence of the arrest, Dolan said that the department has since changed its policies and training, City Pages reports.

The video of the incident from a police car's dashboard camera is available on Youtube. On Feb. 19, 2009, Derryl Jenkins was pulled over for allegedly speeding on North Penn Avenue. After Jenkins exited his vehicle, the officer felt that he should be handcuffed, at which point the two began physically fighting. As the scuffle continued, more squad cars arrive and the officers join in. After it appears Jenkins is subdued, it appears that the police continued to hit him, both punching and kicking. As a result of the incident, Jenkins needed seven stitches, City Pages reports.

The Star Tribune reports that immediately after the incident Dolan submitted the video to the Department's internal Affairs and Training Units in addition to calling on the FBI for an external review of the case. Though the FBI's ruling has not been released yet, the Department seems to consider the case effectively closed.

In the memo, Dolan writes that none of the involved officers have been disciplined, but the policies in question have been changed. "I thought we were using excessive force in some group arrests and you thought I was being unfairly critical. We were both right. The reality is that those involved officers were doing what they were taught. None of them were disciplined, but we changed our policies and our training," Dolan wrote.

Mylan Masson, a Minneapolis police officer, told the Star Tribune that kicking is not advised by the department, though he explained the legitimacy of the officer's actions. "There is kicking that can be used for passive aggression," Masson said. An officer would kick a suspect who is not actively resisting to make sure they aren't reaching for a gun, for instance.

Still, the change is welcome as the brutality present in the later sections of the video cannot be denied.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Cooper published on December 10, 2010 6:00 PM.

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