David Clifford's one-punch near-homicide: The surveillance footage [VIDEO]

Categories: Crime, Police

david clifford rect.jpg
Clifford now faces up to 20 years for nearly killing Vander Lee with a single right hook.
SEE ALSO:
-- Brian Vander Lee, victim of David Clifford's one-punch near-homicide, is home, in bad shape
-- David Clifford posts bail, had half a cocktail before delivering near-fatal punch, attorney says
-- David Clifford, alleged sucker-punching Mpls police sergeant, claims self-defense


Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Clifford is now facing first-degree assault charges in connection with the near-fatal punch he landed on Brian Vander Lee during the afternoon of June 16 on the patio of Tanner's Station in Andover.

Though Clifford was initially charged with third-degree assault -- a charge with a maximum penalty of five years in prison -- Anoka County prosecutors have now upgraded the charge against him to first-degree assault. If he's convicted, he could spend 20 years in prison.

According to the Star Tribune, Anoka County prosecutor Blair Buccicone cited the severity of Vander Lee's injuries as the reason Clifford's charge was upgraded. Vander Lee was placed on life support and needed two brain surgeries in the hours following the alleged assault.

"If there hadn't been intervention, Brian Vander Lee likely would have died," Buccicone said. Though he's been home since late last month, Vander Lee needed a third brain surgery on July 4 after an earlier incision erupted, causing an infection.

Meanwhile, surveillance footage of the one-punch near-homicide has surfaced. Here's a FOX 9 segment with the video and some analysis of what it tells us about the Clifford-Vander Lee incident:


Though the video appears to show Clifford, off duty at the time, sucker-punching Vander Lee, Clifford's attorney, Fred Bruno, argues the footage actually exonerates his client. After watching the video numerous times in slow motion, Bruno told the Strib that he sees Vander Lee moving his left arm before the punch. "Bruno said he is convinced that Vander Lee took the first swing," the Strib reports.

In an interview with FOX 9, Bruno said Vander Lee's blood-alcohol level at the time of the incident was .189, suggesting the incident was instigated by an out-of-control patron who paid no heed to Clifford's request to quiet down and stop using profane language.

Clifford will be back in court tomorrow to be arraigned on the new charge.


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13 comments
Johnhere
Johnhere

Well the video should shut the cop backers up. They kept saying wait until the truth comes out, wait until Clifford tells his side of the story, you are only hearing 50% of the story. The video tells me 100% EX MLPS COP you are screwed and soon to be literally screwed by Bubba. LOL have fun in prison pu**y boy

PigVirus
PigVirus

that pig's ass is grass, and the jury is going to smoke it.

kllsfk
kllsfk

Damn, this country is in great shape.

Richard Garyson
Richard Garyson

Even if Vander Lee was initiating some sort of "assault" on Clifford, Clifford is essentially a human killing-machine, and Vander Lee a helpless drunk. There was no excuse for the assault.

Barny911
Barny911

Wait for the truth. The cop will walk.

BlueCrew
BlueCrew

Guilty of being nothing short of a thug.  Nice beat down, hope you enjoy "catching" in prison you uncivilized puke.

Johnkane
Johnkane

Imbibing beer one day . . . drinking freeze-dried coffee from canteen the next . . . ha . . . enjoy eating with ur meals with a plastic spork for the next several years you fucking pussy cop - no gun or tasor or other pigs to help you brutalize so u resort to a sucker punch . . .? figures . . .  1st class pussy!

idrivefast
idrivefast

"This no matter which way you look at it" Fixed that for you. 

Shep
Shep

no issue for me as its to easy to see the Cop approach him while he was still seated.....So GUILTY AS CHARGED FOR MR POLICEMAN....

CitizenX
CitizenX

Wow indeed.  The only reason Vander Lee 'moved his left arm' was to protect himself from the haymaker coming at his face.  Which he obviously didn't do fast enough.  The only threatening action I saw Vander Lee do was stand up.  Which he probably did only to get to the same level as Clifford.  What's truly surprising about this is police officers, especially Minneapolis police officers, should be used to diffusing situations like this using non-violent techniques learned in training.  This should be protocol in or out of uniform.  And the fact that he ran like a b*tch as soon as he threw the punch is more than damning.  I don't see Clifford being able to hide behind his badge for long.  This is assault no matter which way you look at it.

swmnguy
swmnguy like.author.displayName 1 Like

That video should pretty much do it for Clifford.  It's obvious that the other guy was minding his own business when Clifford imposed on him.  Maybe Vander Lee was being loud and foul-mouthed.  Nobody else in the area seemed to notice.  The fact that Clifford ran like hell as soon as he cold-cocked Vander Lee is damning.  The lawyer's weak excuse that Vander Lee moved his arm so that's the first swing?  That might work when cops pull it in court to justify pounding somebody, but they always manage to wipe the video or move the camera in those situations.  Here the video is very clear, and it's damning.  Clifford is going to go to prison, where he belongs.

DocKozy
DocKozy

He'll soon be scrubbing toillets..........

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