MINNEAPOLIS – Police in St. Paul said Friday that they will release a video that shows a black man being bitten by a police dog and kicked by an officer.
Chief Todd Axtell said in a posting on the department's Facebook page that he's "disappointed and upset" by what the video shows.
"When I became chief, I promised to do everything possible to ensure that the people we serve have faith in their police department," Axtell said. "I want you all to know that the video does not reflect the way we strive to do our jobs — day in, day out. This is not the St. Paul way."
Police and the man's attorney, Robert Bennett, have not released his name. Bennett said incident happened in late June on the city's east side. He said his client's injuries required multiple surgeries, skin grafts and hospitalization for a couple weeks. Bennett said the man had serious bites to his leg — some of his leg muscle is now missing — multiple broken ribs and collapsed lungs.
Minnesota Public Radio News, which first reported information about the video, said police may have mistaken the man for a suspect in an unrelated incident.
Bennett hadn't seen the video before speaking with The Associated Press.
Police planned to release the video at an afternoon news conference. Police spokesman Steve Linders said the video was being made public in the interest of trust and transparency. Axtell said in his Facebook post that the department has already learned from the incident and has increased officer training.
"But most importantly, we will do everything in our power to ensure that we deliver trusted service with respect — every day, without exception — so we don't have another incident like this," the chief wrote.
The news comes in a metropolitan area that has struggled with two high-profile fatal shootings of black men by police in the past year.
Jamar Clark, 24, was killed last November in Minneapolis during a struggle in which prosecutors determined police feared for their lives as Clark tried to grab an officer's weapon. Philando Castile, 32, was shot during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who said Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling an officer he had a gun permit and was armed. Prosecutors are still reviewing that case for possible charges.
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