St. Paul Police Officer On Administrative Leave After Video Shows Beating Of Suspect

The video below is causing a great deal of public anger showing St Paul officer Jesse Zilge macing, kicking, and hitting suspect Eric Hightower, who is slammed face first on to the hood of a cruiser.

Hightower was being sought on suspicion of threatening the life of another person. In August 2011, Hightower greeted an acquaintance with, “What up, boy?” and the man took offense at the term “boy.” That produced an argument during which Hightower punched the other man in the face, knocking out his two front teeth.

In defense of the Zilge, St. Paul Police Federation President Dave Titus struck out at the mayor’s statement of concern over the treatment of Hightower and his demand for an investigation. Titus objected that “[t]his cop was dealing with a very dangerous individual in a very dangerous situation . . . Back-up was not immediately available. And maybe our officials shouldn’t make comments about their concern until the investigation has run its course. This is a good cop.”

Hightower was arrested on suspicion of making terroristic threats, obstructing legal process and criminal damage to property.

Source: Twin Cities

29 thoughts on “St. Paul Police Officer On Administrative Leave After Video Shows Beating Of Suspect”

  1. This is not a RACE WAR, this is the beginning of a POLICE STATE, well the sob is already here, bankers, politicians,elite are running the show, cops are on steroids and are being trained to treat people like animals

  2. To all you police haters. Please don’t call 911 next time you need help. Keep talking like the dirt ball attested. Beat the cops, really! Kill the cops, really!!! Move out of the united states if you don’t like it.

  3. idealist, The Hmong are a mountain people culture, primarily from Laos but also Viet Nam and Thailand. During the Viet Nam War they helped the US and were promised that we would provide sanctuary. When the feces hit the fan w/ the fall of Saigon and the rise of Pol Pot, we had to evacuate these good people. They came to the US, many sponsored by churches in the midwest. There are fairly large groups in the Twin Cities, and several cities in Wisconsin[Madison, Milwaukee, Wausau and LaCrosse]. These are very rural people who were placed in a foreign, urban culture. What would have made them very happy would have been if US, who owed these folks, had just given them land in remote areas where they could continue the culture thay had for milleniums. But no…we needed to assimilate them. It has not worked well. Too many of the young men have turned to crime. I’ve gotten to know many Hmong via farmers markets in my area. They have leased land near my house and they are out every day growing vegetables for sale. The women have done well and it’s mostly women running the vegetable stands. We also have many Amish here so it’s a very interesting cultural mix @ farmer’s markets!

    There’s a movie called Gran Torino that depicts this culture in Detroit. The screenplay was written by a guy from the Twin Cities. To his credit, Clint Eastwood insisted on all the actors portraying Hmong actually be Hmong. So, he had almost all non professional actors to direct, but it worked well.

  4. This post in from CNN last night:

    (CNN) — A second St. Paul, Minnesota, police officer was on leave Friday in the wake of an arrest video that showed an officer kicking a suspect who was lying on the ground.

    The officer who kicked the suspect, identified by police as Jesse Zilge, had been put on leave earlier in the week.

    The name of the second officer was not released; police did not specify what role he played in the incident.

    An investigation continued into the Tuesday arrest of Eric Hightower, who police had been seeking for suspicion of making terroristic threats.

    The president of the St. Paul Police Federation, the union that represents Zilge, urged people not to rush to judgment.

    “Once this process is complete, we believe the facts will show that a good cop was in a dangerous situation with a known dangerous individual,” Dave Titus said in a statement. “The video footage captured by an onlooker does not provide complete context of the incident and by no means demonstrates how the officer perceived the threat at hand.”

    Hightower is already on the ground when the video made by a bystander begins. He can be heard shouting, “What are you arresting me for?”

    In an apparent response to something Zilge said, Hightower then asked, “Assault on who? Can you tell me what’s going on?”

    A male voice on the video can be heard saying Hightower had been shot with pepper spray. Several other voices heckle the officer.

    At one point, Hightower begins to cough and the officer kicks him in the chest once.

    Zilge then handcuffs Hightower and, with the assistance of another officer, slams the suspect against the hood of a waiting police car.

    The video, posted on YouTube, is shot from across the street of where the arrest took place was. It is grainy and can be difficult at times to hear what the officer and suspect are saying.

    At one point, the officer tells onlookers to calm down.

    “He beat up a woman last night,” Zilge said. Hightower responded: “You lying, man! I ain’t even been around here.”

    The video caught the attention of St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith, who “found that the video images raised questions about use of force and immediately ordered a thorough internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding all aspects of the arrest, from start to finish,” according to police.

    The two officers are on leave pending the outcome of that investigation.

    It was not immediately clear whether Zilge had retained an attorney. A listed number for the officer was not in working order.

    For his part, Hightower is accused of threatening his ex-girlfriend on about August 24-28. Bail was set at $35,000 and, according to CNN affiliate KARE, Hightower bonded out of jail on Thursday. Specifically, he was charged with stalking, making terroristic threats and criminal damage of property.

    According to the complaint against him, which cites comments from his ex-girlfriend, Hightower strangled and threatened to kill her.

    KARE spoke to some of Hightower’s family members, who gathered outside a courthouse where Hightower made his first appearance Friday.

    “Regardless of what he was getting charged with, I don’t think the actions were taken appropriately for somebody who’s not resisting,” Hightower’s cousin, Antoine Hightower, told the affiliate.

    A call seeking comment from Hightower’s attorney was not immediately returned Friday.

    CNN’s Nigel Walwyn and Calandra Corder contributed to this report.

    TURLEYBLOG: Please follow this story. Had this happened in a place like LA there would have been riots. These Leos need to be charged with felonies. They are law enforcement offenders of the first magnitude.

  5. Nick,
    What is a Hmong?

    And WTF, is this how it goes. This race war has to end.

    I don’t care who started it. The cops are pros, or supposed to be. So do it professionally, not personally.

    On a personal note, give all the officers a good beating each week until they say “I give up”. Just echoíng another poster here. Makes senxse? Just like all vigilantism does.

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