David Clifford, Mpls police sergeant, in jail after nearly killing man with alleged bar sucker punch

Categories: Crime, Police
david clifford.jpg
Clifford has been with the MPD since 1993.
Brian Vander Lee was talking loudly on his phone while sitting with friends and family on the patio at Tanners bar in Andover around 7 p.m. Saturday night when a man walked up to him and asked him to quiet down.

Surveillance footage shows that just seconds later, the man waylaid Vander Lee, sending him sprawling to the concrete with a single punch to the face. Vander Lee's head hit the concrete, causing bleeding on his brain. He had two brain surgeries yesterday and was reportedly on life support as of 9 p.m. last night.

The suspect ran from the scene, but turned himself in to Anoka County Jail yesterday afternoon with a lawyer by his side. His name is David Clifford. He's a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department and is currently the executive officer of the MPD's SWAT team.

Mike Archambault was on the phone with Vander Lee, his longtime friend, seconds before Clifford allegedly assaulted him. Archambault watched the surveillance footage and told FOX 9 it shows Clifford knocking his friend unconscious with "a Superman punch."
Brian Vander Lee.jpg
FOX 9
Vander Lee suffered a serious brain injury after his head hit the concrete.

"Brian went back, feet up in the air, and [Clifford] landed on top of him and his head bounced off the concrete," Archambault said.

Clifford remains in jail this morning awaiting first- and third-degree assault charges. According to an online biography, he's a veteran of the US Army who served in Kosovo and Iraq.

Vander Lee, meanwhile, continues to fight for his life, though doctors are optimistic he'll pull through, citing his strong vital signs. He has a wife and four young daughters.

See also:
-- One-punch homicide: When a night at the bar goes horribly wrong
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17 comments
notyou
notyou

They will kick the shit out of him in prison every chance they get. I hope he fully enjoys the four walls for 7 years.

notyou
notyou

He will go straight from prison to a FEMA camp

Nonno
Nonno

Throw away the key!  What a bum!!!!  Loser on a power trip... I hope this incident destroys his life... JAIL, LOSE JOB, LOSE WIFE/FAMILY/FRIENDS.  We don't need a guy like this on our society!

Jay Rosene
Jay Rosene

Seriosly? If there is one place I expect people to be obnoxious it's at a bar... especiall at this bar. The only person responsible here is the d-bag who waylaid him. There are many everyday annoyances that I experience and I have sucker punched exactlly 0 of the offenders. It realy isn't that hard to not punch someone. 

John
John

well all you who said let the evidence come out what the hell do you say now. That video doesn't lie.. Clifford what a pansy ass. Sucker punches and runs lol real tough. I hope to get the same in prison

Nontook152
Nontook152

WOW a corrupt Minneapolis police officer?  No way!!  I don't believe it.  They seem like such good people in all the other cases where I've heard of them committing racist and violent acts. 

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Why is he on paid leave? He wasn't working at the time.  This is what is wrong with corrupt cops....they get away with it. Or think they can do whatever they want, and get less punishment and PAID Leave. woooo, I work in a hospital, and ANY assault on your record and you cannot EVER work in healthcare setting. He wasn't on duty, and THINKING someone is going to hit you, is NOT self defense. Surprised a Cop doesn't know this. Wishes and prayers for a full recovery Brian.

Steve
Steve

How the fuck is acting like a loudmouthed bully in a public place helping people live comfortable lives? Nobody took a swing at the cop-he was asked-told to keep it down and his response was to punch the guy so hard he nearly killed him. His job when he is off duty is still being a cop, not being a wild drunken lout without the ability to reign in his outbursts. if he can't do that, even if the other guy is drunk(which he wasn't) he has no business being in law enforcement, period. it should be his responsibility to keep HIS cool because he is the one with training to do so.  What is disgusting is having to watch people make excuses, giving bullies carte blanche because they are cops. There are plenty of good cops out there trying to serve and protect-this clown isn't one of them.

Larry
Larry

I was a little surprised with 1st degree not being charged as well. Generally you charge high and use it as leverage to get a plea to 3rd degree. 1st might be hard to prove, however, in this case.  You need to have intent to cause great bodily harm (GBH) and GBH is generally defined as the lasting injury--loss of limb, permanent brain damage, etc.  So you would have to convince a jury that Clifford intended to cause lasting GBH.  It is not enough to show that Clifford should have known, you have to prove intent. 

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

If this piece of cauliflower ever wakes up, maybe he will be more respectful of people around him.

guest
guest

Have fun in Anger Management.

T_bone_30
T_bone_30

Typical cop. Hope this disgusting pig rots in jail 

riot
riot

Why is  Cliffords Wife not beeing Charged with aiding and his friends (guilt by assoc.)????????

Mike
Mike

Refer to the picture above I couldn't get the one  from my facebook transfered which shows both sides filled with stiches Please look at the picture and ask yourself 3rd degree assault. I do not speak for the VanderLee family I want to make that clear. My options are one of 30 plus years of being together as a family with and out my father who ironically died 12 years to the date this occurred, How could the district attorney possibly have walked up to the judge with anything less than 1st degree assault which should have been attempt of murder and say justice is being served? How could the judge, law makers, the governor, and the whole state of Minnesota judicial system allow this to happen? I bet if this was you or any of your children the severity of the damage done would have justified 1st degree or attempt of murder. How about this? Clifford waited until Brian is alone with his wife before he attacks him and his wife is waiting and picking him up. I would call that premeditated murder hmmm just saying sounds and looks a little fishy Mr. Police officer. Once again the big bad blue will rally around one of their own to protect him for the unjust he has caused. I looked up Clifford’s bio and yes very good record but a similar incident 15 years ago. Here is the bottom line, a decorated cop dam near kills a man and no matter his past service record he made a terrible decision that night and like any one of us should pay for crime he did. 3rd degree give me a f***in break oops that right I don’t have a badge. Overview Minnesota law distinguishes between assault and battery in civil lawsuits. However, under its criminal code, battery is included under the heading of assault. An assault is an act done with intent to cause another injury or imminent fear of injury. The act may be direct (hitting someone with a fist) or indirect (putting something in their drink). Minnesota criminal assault comes in various degrees depending on whether injury was inflicted and the severity of the injury. First Degree Assault First degree criminal assault is charged when great bodily harm is inflicted or if the assault with deadly force is committed against a peace officer. The sentence for a first degree offense is imprisonment for not more than 20 years and payment of a fine of not more than $30,000. Second Degree Assault Second degree assault is charged if a dangerous weapon is used as part of the offense. A person accused of a second degree assault may face up to 7 years in prison and a fine of not more than $14,000. If a persons uses a dangerous weapon AND inflicts substantial bodily harm the potential penalties are increased to not more than ten years and to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000. Third Degree Assault Third degree assault is charged when a person assaults another and inflicts substantial bodily harm or assaults a minor. This offense carries with it a penalty of imprisonment for not more than five years and payment of a fine of not more than $10,000. Moreover, it is also a felony for anyone to assault a child under the age of four years old. The sentence for such an offense is imprisonment for not more than five years and payment of a fine of not more than $10,000                        

Dr. J
Dr. J

You are so dumb you accidently liked my comments instead of responding to it.  Idiot.

Dr. J
Dr. J

You really have cock on the brain don't you?

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