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. Malisha: >” OK Bruno’s comment was ignorant, obnoxious and “a loser” legally.<"

    While you are absolutely correct, Malisha, the sorry fact is that what Bruno said is true, one could even say that "“you strike a cop, and you get whatever the cops want you to get". Legality has nothing to do with the question.

  2. What Balanced said, is….er….unbalanced.
    Trolling for attention? Better stupidities, please.

  3. This officer was fully justified. I’d gladly acquit him of any charges and admonish the government for charging him.

  4. This cop needs to be behind bars. That was disgusting. His actions with the coworker were also over the top and additional cause for termination. A misdemeanor charge is a joke.

  5. One other fact in this matter that I don’t believe has been discussedhere is that Jouppi is/was on his last straw with the Duluth Police Department.

    From the local paper:

    -“The incident could cost Jouppi his job. Personnel records indicate that on March 12, he and the city reached a “Final and Last Chance Agreement” in which he signed a document that included the language: “Any future acts or omissions which violate public trust and/or violate (police policy) will be deemed an act of gross insubordination justifying termination.”

    Of Course, the local Police Union rep is crying foul and talking about just how correct Jouppi was in his actions. As you can tell by watching the video, his comment is as absurd as Jouppi’s actions:

    -““One thing that concerns me is that Rich used force to protect himself and others after being assaulted; that’s one thing that I think is being missed,” Maida said. “I think it will take quite some time to determine if the level of force is excessive. We’re not rushing to judgment on it. The video of it, in and of itself, isn’t enough to determine whether or not his actions were appropriate. His story has not been heard yet.””

    ‘To protect himself AND OTHERS…’ Yes, clearly the clinic employee and the female officer were in grave grave danger. His side of the story means very very little when the video tells the ‘truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.’

  6. OK Bruno’s comment was ignorant, obnoxious and “a loser” legally. Cops should be MORE tolerant of aberrant behavior (especially from an inebriated handicapped person) than the average joe on the street, not LESS so. I heard a story about a good cop in DC once, and his name and so forth were never revealed but the story illustrates excellent police conduct and he should have been rewarded/recognized for it. A guy was riding a motorcycle in DC, drunk. The cop pulled him over and approached, asking for license and registration and so forth and then asked him to step off the bike and hand over his keys. I don’t know the breathalyzer protocol but somehow it played into the story. The guy was white, the cop was Black. The guy was from Virginia, Virginia plates on his bike. While refusing to take the test or hand over his keys, the rider got belligerent and used racist language and got loud, gathering a few onlookers. Then the cop told him that if he didn’t hand over his keys, the cop was going to TAKE them. More words. Then the cop reached over to take the keys and the guy smacked the cop’s hand, saying loudly, “N!ggaPlease!”

    The cop quietly and calmly took the keys, cuffed the guy, arrested him, read him his rights, had his bike towed and took him to jail. I know this story because my son knew the defendant involved when he was at UVA, and when he came back to town (having been convicted, paid his fine, etc.) he admitted that he was “out of line” and that he was lucky not to have been beaten up. Since my son used to like to ride motorcycles and rode with other guys down there who did the same, I begged him: (a) never to ride with this a55hole; and (b) to have nothing more to do with him (which he said he didn’t anyway, only riding); and (c) to never mouth off to any cop at any time anywhere, since not all cops are as fine and admirable as this one.

    The campus buzzed for days about how lucky this drunken racist fool was to have been arrested by such an outstanding cop and not to have even been “tuned up” in the jail itself. But the simple story is that when you’re a cop, you should be prepared to deal with people who are not being very nice. If you’re unable to manage your anger, get a different job altogether.

  7. The appropriate response of the officer would have been to simply brush aside the man’s hand and let it go, provided he did not become combative later.

    This act went so far beyond reason the charge against the officer was warranted. And what was up with telling the nurse / detox official to back up or she would be arrested too? My God, talk about having a bad mindset.

    Here is a breakdown of what I consider proper uses of force.

    1) Person is under arrest but is a bit emotional and passively resists going. Action) Just talk to him and put his hands behind his back and cuff him.

    2) Person is angry and refuses to go, pushing officers away and grabbing on to stationary objects to prevent arrest. Action) Wrestle him to the ground, cuff him up, and charge him with resisting arrest.

    3) Person punches and kicks and officer during the arrest, causing pain and bruising to the officer. Action) Level 3 use of force plus charge with Felony Assault on LEO.

    Here is another consideration. You would never charge a person with Felony Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer for simply pawing the officer. Reason? It is a waste of time because the prosecutor would either drop it or the judge would throw it out during arraignment. Not to mention it is the equivalent of Crying Wolf in the minds of the courts and would call into question legitimate charges if too many chippy cases were presented.

  8. Jouppi causes the issue by trying to yank the jacket off of Jackson’s arm as its caught in the cuff…if someone is pulling my hand behind my back with my jacket, I might push them away as well…

    Police are supposed/used to be trained in restraint and working with people who are unruly to calm them down…seems now that they’re trained to beat people into submission.

    I get sick over these videos, I’m hoping Jouppi gets the book slammed on his head.

    Bruno’s website says he’s been voted one of the best Lawyers in the US and is a ‘Super Lawyer’… Hardly seems like it with his comment.

  9. The wee tip of the LEO abuse of power iceberg. But videoing the police is a criminal offence. ( they would have you believe)

  10. “you strike a cop, and you are in no man’s land.”

    This is the problem. In other words, “contempt of cop” leads to an unrestrained beating that’s totally justified in their minds. They (all too many) are out-of-control thugs that need to be stopped. When will we the people take back our “justice” system? And yes, the cop unions have had a big part in this; defending the worst offenders without question and regardless of their guilt. With absolutely no common sense or decency involved.

  11. Right. If you let people get away with bad behavior, expect their behavior to get worse. That is the story of how we have arrived in our present situation with the police.

  12. Anyone that doesn’t think that police insanity is at epidemic proportions has their head up their arse.

  13. I am on a DOJ email list and this came in

    Paulo Morales, 48, of Miami, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum to 33 months in prison along with one year supervised release, the Justice Department announced. In July, Morales, a former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

    During the plea proceedings, Morales admitted that on various dates in January 2011, while working as an officer with CBP at the Miami International Airport, he groped the breasts of three separate women without their consent and while they were in the custody of CBP.

    “This officer abandoned his commitment to legitimate law enforcement and used his power to abuse women in his custody,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to holding officers who engage in such conduct accountable.”

  14. Tie the piece of crap, police officer, down in a wheel chair and beat him till he loses consciousness, then chop the offending arm off… but allow him to keep his badge,,,, shoved up his butt!

  15. Oh goodie…A misdemeanor and we still get to keep the badge……I like the resisting, obstructing or opposing a leo…..it’s a 2 year felony in some states and all’s you have to do is brush a leo……it’s your word against them….

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