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6.23.2017

Officer, at least unbuckle his seat belt before you unjustly beat the shit out of him.

Dash cam video of Minnesota traffic stop shows police officer violently assaulting motorist.



The ACLU of Minnesota is calling for an investigation into the police officers who pulled over a motorist and violently assaulted him. Dash cam footage shows one officer viciously beating the young man who is still buckled in his car seat, while another officer purposely turns off the camera's audio.

In the Blink of an Eye, Police Officers Turned This Traffic Stop Into an Unnecessarily Violent Encounter

Anthony Promvongsa was driving in Worthington, Minnesota on July 28, 2016 when Agent Joe Joswiak of the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force pulled him over and proceeded to beat the shit out of him. Well, first Joswiak threw open Promvongsa's door and screamed "Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker!" Then he beat the shit out of him. Promvongsa didn't even get a chance to unbuckle his seat belt before Joswiak started swinging.

In police dash cam footage obtained by the ACLU, Joswiak can be seen punching, kicking and elbowing Promvongsa several times in the back before yanking him out of the driver's seat of his Honda Pilot, throwing him to the ground. Then he presses his knee to the back of Promvongsa's neck, pinning him face down on the pavement while he and Sgt. Tim Gaul of the Worthington Police Department handcuffed him.

At some point, Gaul intentionally turns off the audio of the encounter. After he is placed inside the squad car, Promvongsa can be heard breathing heavily and sobbing.



According to the ACLU, the traffic stop stemmed from an "agitated motorist" who happened to be driving in front of Promvongsa. Turns out, that agitated motorist was off-duty police officer Colby Palmersheim, who called Joswiak to go after Promvongsa for tailgaiting him. Tailgaiting. Did this guy really just get fucked up by the cops for tailgaiting? Well, others have died for doing far less.

Promvongsa was charged with several offenses, including fleeing in a motor vehicle and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon -- his car. Joswiak claims Promvongsa refused his order to leave his car, but the video clearly shows that's all kinds of bullshit. Count the seconds. Promvongsa barely even had time to obey the officer's orders before Joswiak started using him as a punching bag.

"I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer," Promvongsa said in a statement. "I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack. I immediately pulled over for the Worthington squad car and before I knew what was happening I was beat and ripped from my vehicle."

The ACLU says the video shows a textbook case of excessive force.

"This type of brutality by officers is not only unconstitutional -- it's terrifying for the individual being assaulted and for the community as a whole," the ACLU of Minnesota posted on its website. "People should not fear that they could be attacked by the police for no reason or while being detained for investigative purposes. Fear of police violence causes a decrease in people reporting crimes and erodes trust between communities and the police. Communities of color already have a tenuous relationship with police, and unacceptable behavior like this makes it harder for it ever to change."


The criminal complaint filed by Officer Palmershem claims that Promvongsa was driving erratically, made some type of gesture at him, threatened him, and refused to stop when police gave chase. Even if any of this true -- and none of these allegations leading to Promvongsa's arrest were recorded by traffic cameras or dash cam footage -- nothing would justify getting abused by the police like this.

The ACLU of Minnesota is calling for the Worthington Police Department to investigate this incident immediately, take all appropriate personnel actions and ensure this never happens again.

Want to take action? You can get in touch with the Worthington Police Department yourself. Call Police Chief Troy Appel at 507-295-5400 to demand the dismissal and prosecution of Agent Joswiak and a full investigation into Sgt. Gaul for tampering with audio evidence and complicity in the assault.

Meanwhile, Promvongsa has pleaded not guilty and intends to go to trial.

"He maintains his innocence," his attorney Ginny Barron told Minneapolis City Pages. "What I can say is while I believe there are definitely a number of honorable police officers in the community who are highly respected, we are seeing increasing, systemic problems of excessive force in the Worthington Police Department, Nobles County Sheriff's Office, and Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force that we don't believe should ever be allowed or tolerated in a civilized society."

More here: Dash cam footage shows brutal traffic stop of Asian man in Worthington [VIDEO]