What started as a routine traffic stop last year now has local police in a Minnesota town being sued by an immigrant alleging they used excessive force against him.
Dash camera footage on a Roseville police cruiser shows Victor Yair Hernandez-Rivera being kicked, punched and shot with a stun gun.
Hernandez-Rivera was the passenger in a car that was pulled over on May 26, 2013. Things started to go wrong when the driver of the car got out and started running. Instructed to stay in the car, Hernandez remained seated for a time, but then he exited when an officer returned.
“Don’t you move!” the officer yelled. “Don’t you f***ing move!”
Soon this officer was on top of Hernandez-Rivera using a Taser on him, and another ran to the scene, trying to force him to put his hands behind his back.
“Fearing he may be trying to retrieve a concealed weapon I deployed my Taser into his right side,” an officer’s report about the incident said, according to KARE-TV.
Then two more officers arrived, kicking and punching Hernandez-Rivera trying to get him to comply.
“Citizens have a right to be free of unlawful, excessive force from the police department,” his attorney Paul Edlund told KMSP-TV. “Victor has that right, and that’s clearly not what happened here.”
Hernandez-Rivera was found to not have a weapon and was brought in for resisting arrest. The charges brought against him were not filed until November 2013 and then they were dismissed in January 2014, the Pioneer Press reported.
Though reports identify the man as an “immigrant” his legal status was not clearly specified.
Watch the dashcam footage, which starts in on Hernandez-Rivera after three minute in (Content warning: strong language):
Hernandez-Rivera recently filed a lawsuit, citing excessive force and seeking damages of up to half a million dollars, according to KARE.
“I don’t think he understood what the order was because of the language barrier,” Edlund told KARE.
Hernandez-Rivera’s native language is Spanish. The dash camera also recorded audio of an officer seeming to mock him in Spanish.
“You wouldn’t treat your dog that way,” Edlund told the Pioneer Press of the behavior exhibited by the officers identified as Justin Gunderson, Erin Reski, Kyle Eckert and Grant Dattilo.
Roseville Police spokesman Lorne Rosand said the department could not offer comment, citing the lawsuit.
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