A St. Paul, Minnesota police officer is being accused of excessive force after repeatedly kicking a suspect who was being bitten by a police K-9.
Officer Brett Palkowitsch is on trial for the incident that was captured on police dashcam in 2016. Prosecutors say Palkowitsch’s use of force against Frank Baker was unreasonable.
Police were dispatched after reports of a fight and a man with a gun came in. They encountered Baker who was sitting in his Jeep that night in June of 2016.
Police say Baker matched the description of the gunman so officers ordered him out of the vehicle. Police dash cameras captured the encounter as the K-9 dragged Baker to the ground as he yelled in pain.
Local news sources say officers then ordered Baker to turn over and put his hands out. When he did not comply, Palkowitsch allegedly kicked him three times, fracturing his ribs and puncturing his lungs.
Baker’s legs are permanently disfigured after the K-9 attack which torn hunks of flesh out of his leg. He spent two weeks in the hospital.
After further investigation, it was revealed that Baker was not the man police were looking for that night and was innocent. Baker had just returned home from work around 10 p.m. and was sitting in his SUV talking on his phone when the police approached him.
He was later awarded $2 million in a settlement with the city of St. Paul.
The department moved to fire Palkowitsch but he was reinstated by an arbitrator. A grand jury later indicted the officer.