|This was the scene outside 2921 26th Ave. South yesterday|
A Minneapolis police officer punched out an apparently inebriated man yesterday, causing him to be taken from the scene via ambulance, according to a witness who provided his account and photos of the incident on condition of anonymity.
"When the man got within roughly a foot of the officer, the officer punched the man in the jaw with his right fist, knocking him against the windows of the storefront, taking him to the ground and immediately cuffing him," the witness says. "He appeared to be knocked out and blood was pooling out from his mouth."
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder confirms that there was a Use of Force that resulted in the suspect leaving the scene via ambulance, but won't be able to say what prompted it until the report is filed later this afternoon.
"The gentleman did get struck, absolutely no two ways about it," Elder told City Pages last night. "The officer states in his report that he did use force on the individual."
The incident took place outside the Cost Cutters at 2921 26th Ave. S. The man, who appeared to be drunk, had been laying on the lobby floor at a nearby Rainbow for at least half an hour, according to one observer. Two cops arrived and confronted him.
"The man approached the one officer, gesturing at him, appearing to stand his ground," the witness says. "He was certainly being a bit provocative, but the officer most definitely swung as an offensive move rather than to defend himself."
The witness says the rest of the people who saw the incident were surprised by the aggressiveness of the police.
"The reaction was mostly shock," the source says. "Most people in the establishment I was in at the time expressed empathy and pity for the drunk man who was knocked out. There was also a young boy there who witnessed the whole thing."
This is a photo of the ambulance called by police arriving at the scene:
The incident remains under investigation, Elder says.
"We will leave it up to the Use of Force review if it's justified or needs to go on for further investigation and for me to say anything else at this time is inappropriate," Elder says. "If this gentleman feels he's been treated improperly, we encourage him to come forward and talk to Internal Affairs."