In St. Paul, Minnesota, police have finally released a video of an unarmed black man who was beaten by officers and attacked by dogs from a K9 unit in June. His injuries included partially collapsed lungs, broken ribs, and a permanently disfigured leg.
Police were responding to the scene of an argument where they believed a black man with dreads had a gun. Thinking that 53-year-old Frank Baker was the assailant, they dragged him from his car, kicked him mercilessly, and unleashed their dog. Baker, an innocent man who had nothing to do with the situation at hand, spent two weeks recovering in the hospital.
As his attorney, Robert Bennett, told MPR News, the dog tore off “hunks of human flesh, biting down to the bone. It’s one of the most serious non-fatal attacks I’ve ever seen.”
On the dash cam footage, Baker can be heard screaming in pain as officers curse at and berate him. A word of warning: It’s difficult to watch.
The most aggressive officer, Brett Palkowitsch, is on unpaid leave, and the dog handler has a 30-day suspension. But is that enough, considering that two other people of color have been unjustly killed by police in the St. Paul area this past year?
Last November, 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot and killed by officers. Then, in July, 32-year-old Philando Castile was murdered by police while letting them know he had a licensed concealed carry as his girlfriend live-streamed the incident on Facebook. What needs to be done to change this culture of senseless, racist violence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.