A Minnesota arrest in which shows the driver being dragged out of his vehicle and repeatedly punched and kneed by an aggressive police officer was a “disturbing and completely unnecessary” example of an excessive use of force, the state ACLU has said.
This Video which was recently acquired by the Minnesota chapter of the ACLU depicts the Buffalo Ridge drug taskforce agent Joe Joswiak demanding a traffic halt with his gun equally leveled at the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and also shouting expletives.
“I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer,” Anthony Promvongsa, the man being arrested in the footage, had told the ACLU.
Within just span of six seconds of first ordering Promvongsa to be out of the vehicle, Joswiak opened the door immediately and start beating the driver. The man was repeatedly kneed and punched.
“I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack,” Promvongsa said. “I immediately pulled over for the Worthington [Minnesota] squad car and before I knew what was happening I was beat and ripped from my vehicle. I know I am not the first person to have this type of traumatic experience with law enforcement in Worthington.”
He added: “This type of violence with community members has to stop. This encounter was demoralizing and has left me scared of future interactions with the police.”
Teresa Nelson who is the executive director of the ACLU, Minnesota, said that the branch was running an investigation on Joswiak’s behavior and “for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution”.
“Thus far Agent Joswiak has received no punishment for this abhorrent treatment of Anthony,” Nelson said. “This sends a message that the department condones the officer’s behavior, which it should not.”
According to The Guardian "The incident took a flippant the moment an off-duty officer called in a report that Promvongsa was driving very recklessly. Promvongsa, was charged by the Prosecutor, he is a Laotian American, with assault with a dangerous weapon (a motor vehicle), one count of fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, possession of a small amount of marijuana and driving after revocation. His case is still pending, and no trial date has currently been set."
In a joint press release, local authorities called the video “one piece of evidence in a pending criminal case”.
“The video, shows only a small segment of the incident that is the basis of the criminal charges,” said the statement from the Buffalo Ridge drug task force, the Worthington police department and the Nobles County attorney’s office.
The accusation comes just days after another Minnesota officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted in the shooting death of Philando Castile.