MPD officer Blayne Lehner shown choking and pepper-spraying protesters in new footage [VIDEO]

lehner MPD rect.jpg
A new video portrays Officer Lehner's work in a less-than-flattering light.
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A new video posted to YouTube by rubicondrawn shows Minneapolis police officer Blayne Lehner choking and pepper-spraying protestors and arresting a seemingly peaceful journalist for no apparent reason.

The video also identifies Lehner as the officer who manhandled KSTP cameraman Chad Nelson during a downtown Occupy protest last April, breaking his camera and allegedly injuring Nelson's neck and shoulder.
 
Here's the video:



In the days following the KSTP cameraman incident, Police Chief Tim Dolan said the MPD's Internal Affairs Unit would be investigating. Reached for comment this afternoon, police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said the internal investigation is still ongoing and that no disciplinary action had yet been taken. Palmer said such investigations routinely take nine months to a year to complete.

Dolan called Nelson in April to personally apologize for the manhandling, but the KSTP cameraman said he planned to file a criminal complaint against Officer Lehner anyway. Palmer said today he isn't able to answer questions about the the case because the employee overseeing the pertinent file isn't in, but added that the MPD would be able to provide more information next week.

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9 comments
LinRedNeckLand
LinRedNeckLand

Isn't it interesting how matter-of-fact this cop appears in this photo?  All in a day's work.  Reminds me of the riot-gear cop who calmly and matter-of-factly pepper-sprayed unarmed civilians who were present at a demonstration.

YehRight
YehRight

How bout the people just say enough is enough, and everyone carry the strongest mace/pepper spray they can get. Anytime your rights are being stepped on, by WHOMEVER, bust out the can and go to town, these thug pigs might think twice if everyone that they abused, fought back. I know I know, then you go to jail for assaulting a police officer, oh well, fuck it, try choking me and see what happens pigs..

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

This kind of out-of-control violence is not in line with community standards.  It's completely unacceptable for Dolan to stonewall this for 9 months to a year.  If past examples serve, the results of the investigation will be that the police "followed proper procedures."  This guy Lehner clearly does not understand that he works for the community, and not the other way around.  He seems to have a particular vendetta against the media, which isn't too surprising.  Authoritarian bullies hate being exposed.  It's obvious that Dolan condones this kind of anti-social behavior on his force.  Of course, to be fair to Dolan, this has been going on for decades in the MPD.  And with the leeway granted to cops in the aftermath of 9/11/01, the transformation of the police into paramilitary occupiers has accelerated nationwide.  It's really too bad, because most of us who own property, pay taxes, raise families and run businesses really need cops in Minneapolis; not conspiratorial thugs.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Next time just use a water cannon on these idiots. Call it a cost saving measure, the streets get cleaned and the gimmie crowd goes away.

Zack Switzer
Zack Switzer

We need to get these dirtball police officers off the force!

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @swmnguy Nice.. but he's part of the Union. Worst case he gets a slap and a desk job.. thank you DLF

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

 @CinBlueland I don't think police unions need to be a problem, if leadership enforces a cultural change (you and I may disagree on that).

 

An example I'd bring up is Lt. Mike Sauro.  When he worked the street, for a while he was the most expensive cop in Minneapolis.  He is a little guy, but buff as all heck with a very aggressive streak and apparently a short-guy-complex.  He routinely got into fights and beat the tar out of drunken lummoxes who wanted to beat up a cop.  He cost the city millions in payouts for behavior that was clearly over the line.  However, the MPD transferred him to the sex crimes unit, where he had to use his brains instead of his brawn, and for the past decade or two he's been one of the best cops in the department.  Today he's a clear asset to the community.  He was in the wrong job early in his career, and his superiors were too slow to get him out of the wrong job and into the right job, because his superiors didn't care that he was beating the hell out of people who were being obnoxious in the first place.  Didn't care, that is, until the payouts reached staggering totals and the media took notice.

 

I have my doubts about Lehner because his attitude seems to be (from the videos) that the public (and particularly the media) is subservient to him rather than the other way around.  Bu there's probably a way his training and skills can be put to use, if Dolan were to take it seriously and demand a behavioral and attitude change in his department.  I don't see that as likely, however, because Dolan seems to share Lehner's attitude toward "civilians."

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

 @CinBlueland Agree almost entirely.  I do have sympathy with the OWS crowd, but within some limits.    I know too many people who "followed the rules" and are getting bent over to allow the presence of some silly people to obscure that issue.  But that's a separate issue, not what we're discussing here.

 

MPD is a mess; has been a mess for over 30 years that I know personally; and that mess started long before I came around.  Bouza openly said it was a mess and the powers that be wouldn't allow it to be fixed.  I had some hopes for McManus but those hopes didn't last long.  I hire cops as security for live events, and they're all good folks.  The cops I've called and dealt with myself have been great.  They aren't the ones causing the problems.  The problems start at the top, and the lack of effective leadership prevents any real management of the department.  It's taken on a life of its own.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @swmnguy Apologies if this came down on one side or another.. MPD is screwed. They have a "chief" who is more interested in getting her teeth whitened and tanned than actually doing anything. From previous reports she responds to allegations and innuendo more than procedure. That leads to cops who don't have direction and or leadership. I'm not sympathetic to the OWS crowd. But MPD has no real leadership.

 

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