A Duluth Police Department review of force used by officers during an arrest Tuesday was "found to be consistent with the department’s policies and training," police announced in a news release Wednesday.
A bystander video uploaded to Facebook showed officers attempting to arrest Jonathan Lee Perrin, 28, who had a warrant for allegedly violating probation in a felony domestic assault case in Cloquet. The video, which starts mid-incident, shows two officers attempting to restrain the man on the ground.
One officer is seen delivering three knee strikes to the man's back before appearing to apply steady pressure with his knee as the suspect appears to kick his legs upward several times. A third officer eventually arrives, and they are able to place handcuffs on the man as bystanders are heard questioning whether the force was necessary.
The arrest occurred near the Speedway station at Sixth Avenue East and Fourth Street in Duluth. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said at a weekly news conference hosted by the city Wednesday the video showed only the aftermath of the incident, with the suspect refusing orders to stop and leading officers on a brief foot chase before physically resisting arrest on the ground. Police on Wednesday released body cam and dash cam footage of the incident “in the interest of transparency” and to “dispel widespread rumor and unrest," a news release stated.
No injuries were reported, the chief said.
"We understand that any use of force by police, especially today, is very concerning for our citizens," Tusken said. All use-of-force incidents in the city are reported and reviewed as a matter of practice, he noted.
The incident comes a little more than two weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Bystander video in that case showed an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as the 46-year-old stated that he could not breathe.
Tusken noted at a Monday news conference that neck restraints have never been utilized in his 28 years with the police department. But Tusken said he did not immediately see anything that would warrant action against the officers.
"At this time, we're very early in getting all the facts, and I don't want to draw any conclusions about what could have perhaps been done different," he said. "That said, we did not see anything that was outside the scope of our training and policy at this time."
According to the release, the review team included command staff and the use-of-force coordinator. The team reviewed reports, the department's use-of-force policy, and footage from body-worn cameras, the city camera system, squad cameras as well as a video submitted by a citizen.
The release also included an updated sequence of events that led to the arrest:
8:10 p.m. — Officers recognize Jonathan Lee Perrin and know he has a warrant for felony domestic assault. The officers identify themselves and order Perrin to stop.
Perrin flees east through the Speedway parking lot and into the Whole Foods Co-op parking lot.
During a foot pursuit, Perrin is twice ordered to get on the ground. After a short pursuit, Perrin falls to the ground and is engaged by the pursuing officer. Perrin then begins to actively resist the officer’s attempt to arrest him. Officers struggle to gain control of Perrin to arrest him.
Officers give multiple orders to place his hands behind his back and Perrin is still uncooperative.
An officer uses two knee strikes to the large muscle area of the back and one knee strike to the upper rear thigh. The strikes prove to be ineffective and the officer quickly transitions to warning Perrin of the use of a stun gun, at which point Perrin cooperates. The stun gun was not deployed.
8:11 p.m. — Perrin is in custody. Officers assist Perrin to standing position.
8:12 p.m. — A supervising officer confirms Perrin is uninjured.
This story was updated at 7:30 p.m. June 10 to add details about the incident from the police department. It was originally posted at 2:39 p.m. June 10.