Mpls. Man Alleges Abuse By Metro Transit Police
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The 54-year-old man who was detained via stun gun by Metro Transit police earlier this week is speaking out.
Terrance Jackson says he felt violated by officers who stunned and kicked him while he waited for a bus. He was on his way to a doctor’s appointment when a WCCO viewer recorded the incident.
Transit Police officials say the officers did what was necessary to keep the busiest corner in downtown Minneapolis safe.
Jackson does not agree with that statement. He was in the Hennepin County Jail when our first story aired. He says he was placed on a 36-hour hold, allowed no telephone call or access to medical care. Jackson says he was treated unfairly for just leaning against a wall.
Metro Transit Police say 7th Street and Hennepin Avenue is the busiest corner in downtown Minneapolis. Markers were put on the sidewalk to cut down congestion and confusion: one side is for people waiting for the bus, while the other is for people walking through.
“I have a condition where I have something attacking my joints my knees, my feet. So it’s hard for me to stand up sometimes. So almost all the times I’m there, I stand against the wall,” Jackson said.
Jackson, who’s a Minnesota-native and Army veteran, says he was not the only person leaning against the wall when Metro Transit Police walked by Monday afternoon.
“He said, ‘This is private property. You have to be over here,’ and I’m looking at everybody up and down on the wall and I’m like, ‘What about them?’ And he said, ‘Show me some ID,’ and I’m like, ‘For what?’ So as soon as I said that, he said, ‘You’re under arrest. You are going to jail,'” Jackson said.
The video helps tell the story of what Jackson experienced at the hands of Metro Transit Police.
“He takes a step back and takes out his taser and points it at me…and he’s like, ‘Turn around. Turn around.’ And I’m like, ‘What’s going on?'” he said.
Jackson says at this point he was struck by not one but two stun guns. And because he did not go down, he says officers kept stunning him until he hit the pavement.
“[The officers put] their knees on my head, foot on my neck. And I looked up and there was an officer who came from somewhere, and he was against the wall – and he lifted up his leg like to stomp me,” he said.
Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington is in support of his officers.
“This was pretty straight-up encounter from what I can tell. The officers were following procedure,” Harrington said.
Jackson says he was released from jail, and was not charged with a crime. He says he wants justice and is considering filing a lawsuit against Metro Transit Police.
Chief Harrington says he continues to review the video of the arrest, and feels his officers followed procedure.
He says it appears Jackson refused to comply with verbal commands, even when told he faced arrest.
Harrington says Jackson resisted officers with force, and additional officers had to be called for assistance.