I would like to offer a standing ovation and thunderous THANK YOU to the gentleman who filmed this video. The quality is good, he calmly narrated what he was seeing, and he remained focused on the victim – Eric Hightower – despite what looks like one of the crowd control cops trying to block the cameraman’s view with his body around the 3:50 mark.
THANK YOU to Angela Hulbert, who according to the Star Tribune article, posted the video to YouTube, called the mayor’s office, sent the video to Internal Affairs and spoke with IA Wednesday morning.
The on-lookers complied with police orders, but they didn’t do so quietly. When the crowd protests Zilge’s treatment of Hightower, we can hear the cop yell “He beat up a woman last night. Calm down.” Which even if true, dear readers, in no way justifies the kicking, hair-pulling and slamming of Eric’s head into the police car.
Look at how many patrols were called to the area. Look at how many white police officers are present. Note how few black officers are present.
This video shows police brutality and contains strong language.
The text on the video posted on YouTube reads:
A police officer’s conduct while taking a suspect into custody has sparked allegations of police brutality. The incident occurred Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn., when Officer Jesse Zilge spotted 30-year-old Eric Hightower, who police were searching for after he allegedly threatened to kill an acquaintance. Hightower is seen lying on the ground after Zilge sprayed him with a chemical irritant. At one point, Zilge kicks him in the chest. Later, Zilge and another officer slam a handcuffed Hightower onto a squad car and also appear to pull his hair. Zilge was placed on administrative leave after an investigation was launched.
I don’t want a cop who behaves this way to be trusted to work with the public or interpreting how to enforce laws. I hope they fire Officer Zilge and charge him with assault. I hope the city of St. Paul pays damages to Eric Hightower for this city-enabled abuse of one of its citizens.