Minnesota Police Facing Criminal Charges For Beating Man In Wheelchair In Detox Room

Duluth, Minnesota Police Officer Richard Jouppi will face criminal charges for beating a man in a detox facility last month after a review by an independent counsel. Jouppi will be charged with counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

The video above does show Anthony Jackson (who was drunk) trying to push or gently slap away Jouppi who had helped him with the removal of his jacket. The officer had been called to the detox facility because Jackson violated its no drinking policy. Jackson paws at the officer’s face and that sets off a flurry of blows from Jouppi. In fairness to the officer, Jackson did try to strike him though it seems fairly gentle and was in fact deflected. There was clearly an excessive level of force used, including kneeling on the man after two blows to his head. I am also concerned with the fact that the officer charged Jackson with felony assault over the incident. We have seen many cases on this blog were officers involved in abuse have proceeded to hit the victim with a multiple charges.

Jouppi’s lawyer, Frederic Bruno, put the defense in rather startling terms: “you strike a cop, and you are in no man’s land.” I would hope that you would not be in no man’s land but within a legal system that clearly takes that force must be reasonable and commensurate. I believe that there is a reasonable defense to be made for Jouppi that, even if excessive, this does not rise to a criminal matter (though Jouppi’s own charging of Jackson with a felony undermines his claim for leniency). However, Bruno’s suggestion of a no man’s land is not going to be helpful with a court or a jury.

Source: CNN

31 thoughts on “Minnesota Police Facing Criminal Charges For Beating Man In Wheelchair In Detox Room

  1. Looks like another cop with a bad temper. It seems as though the majority of these “bad cop” incidents are almost reactionary by the bad cop. Aren’t there some kind of psychological studies out there that can screen for bad tempers? Police forces need to do something because there are too many hot-headed cops out there with short fuses ready to abuse their power.

  2. “I believe that there is a reasonable defense to be made for Jouppi that, even if excessive, this does not rise to a criminal matter.”

    I generally agree with your analysis Prof., but what possible defense that this is not a criminal matter is reasonable? He beat the shit out of a defenseless man. The cop was already manhandling him with his arm twisted behind him when he tried to push the cop away, which even a sober person would do, and he released numerous blows to his face throwing his whole body behind the punchs. And the victim has the higher charges?

  3. Kraaken, I agree with you. I wish, however, that the guy in the wheelchair had a better lawyer because his position, while realistic, is not what he should have said to the press. He should have said something like, “My client was in an impaired condition and rather than the public safety officer assisting in keeping everyone safe, he chose to engage in criminal acts against a handicapped person that amount to torture! No physically handicapped prisoner of war should have been treated like that or the abuser would have been charged under the Geneva Convention against torture! It was outrageous and we have it on video!”

    The fact is, the guy did not assault the cop; he tried to free himself from a painful arm-twist hold that was unnecessary to start with. The woman who told him to take off his jacket was combative and rude to begin with; everybody knew the guy was drunk; he was operating from diminished capacity to start with. The beating was so far beyond any acceptable behavior that the officer should have been subjected to citizen’s arrest at the time, but he intimidated the civilian witness, who was clearly terrorized herself, seeing the beating. I hope the guy in the wheel chair finds himself a good personal injury plaintiff’s lawyer to sue for a million dollars and I hope he collects. And I hope he goes to an AA meeting every night of his life. ❗

  4. Just watched the video. Wrong person is facing felony assault. Cop had no reason to do anything but help the victim stand while he took off his jacket. Cop was looking for a fight.

  5. BettyKath, yes, the cop was looking for a fight he was sure to win! Coward! His calling it “assault” when the guy tried to free his own shoulder from a painful twist is like George Zimmerman calling it an attack when Trayvon Martin tried to escape a stalker in the dark. He should be so ashamed of himself he quits, moves away and tries to get plastic surgery.

  6. The words we employ to describe certain people: police officer (sometimes abbreviated to PO); cop; Officer So&So;and LEO. The introduction of the LEO term seems to have come from within the ranks– ranks of cops who dont like the word cops. Law Enforcement Officer. It also has more range than just a police officer who is issued a badge and a certificate to enforce laws and make arrests. They refer to bailiffs and process serviers and some curmudgeons who come along for the ride as LEOs. The problem with LEO is that it was formerly used in court circles to denigrate a bad cop: Law Enforcement Offender. When you invoke LEO then I take it that an offense occurred and the person invoking the nominclature is dressing up the word from police officer to cop to LEO. But they dont know the history. A LEO is indeed a cop with a badge who is an offender in the enforcement of his duties. So if a cop is a good cop he should remain as a good cop in our parlance and if he smacked some poor guy in a wheelchair he should be called a LEO but the writer, the person invoking the acronym should tell the reader what the real genesis of the word is. What we have here in the video are two bad cops, the one that assaults and the one that looks on. They are both LEOs. They are both offenders. They both should be prosecuted and they both should be sued for money damages. If a superior saw this video and agreed to prosecute the guy in the wheelchair after viewing it, then the superior should be charged in the civil suit. See Title 42 United States Code Section 1983 for civil rights violations committed by those operating under color of law; and see Section 1985(3) for conspiracy among co Leos and others; and see Section 1988 for attorneys fees. The municipality can be named and judgment can be entered against them if they were the employer of the LEO. It is easier to use the word LEO and is much shorter than bad cop or bad fat cop with billie club. When someone operates under color of law (with a badge for example) and violates my civil rights, then they are a Law Enforcement Offender. Once convicted of a criminal case then theyt are a Law Enforcement Offender (1st conviction).

  7. that cop jouppi are whatever his name is he is a danger and threat to civilians all around he attacked a drunken man mind you the man was drunk so if a man in a wheel chair swung at you while he is like 2ft lower would you strike him no you wouldnt more or less restrain i think that cop was bullied a younger child for being overweight also the man had a eye patch wow and his hand was stuck in his jacket cuff now why would he do it? i think that maybe i couldve been a hate crime the man was native what if that cop jouppi had a hate mainly for other races? in conclusion he was in the wrong cops are people just like us….so what if they have a badge saying they are cops? How can you call yourself a cop a citizen of the USA and act in tht manner? He is more or less a terrorist, the kind that doesn’t pray on countries but people citizens just like him i say that man has made a fool out of our police…not sayin that police are always wrong but in that situation he was in the wrong and that he should be judged by the law.

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