MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police say an independent investigation found officers did not violate the law or department policy in a violent incident involving a community activist last year.
Al Flowers says he was attacked by officers on the evening of July 25, 2014, as they were looking to arrest his 16-year-old daughter at his home on the 3100 block of Chicago Avenue. Officers claimed Flowers physically tried to stop them from searching his home.
Flowers’ mug shot shows that he suffered a head wound and black eyes from the incident. He claims officers kicked him in the ribs and hit his head “30 to 40” times, causing a head wound that required staples to close.
The report states that investigators found Flowers had cause to be upset when officers arrived because they did not initially show him a copy of the warrant.
A recording of a radio transmission made by officers at the scene demonstrated that Flowers’ voice was “raised in anger” during the initial confrontation.
Investigators also say officers could have used de-escalation tactics during the incident, but instead opted — acceptably — to try to execute their mission as quickly as possible in light of the “difficult nighttime [encounter] in a confined and potentially dangerous space.” His daughter later turned herself in, and then was released after investigators found she had not violated the terms of her home-monitoring system.
The report says officers used reasonable force techniques against Flowers, which were consistent with the department’s “continuum of force” training. These techniques include open-hand strikes to the face and knee thrusts to the torso.
They also found that race and Flowers’ stature as an activist who spoke out against police brutality were not factors in the incident.
The Police Conduct Review Panel — consisting of two Minneapolis Police lieutenants and two civilians — and the Office of Chief of Police agreed with the investigation’s results, and have called for the exoneration of the officers involved.
Flowers was not charged with any crime.
Click here to read a redacted version of the final report.