By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a two-year legal battle, the Minnesota Court of Appeals backed Monday a decision by the city of Richfield to fire a police officer accused of using excessive force.

Video posted on Twitter in 2015 showed what appeared to be Richfield police officer Nate Kinsey pushing and hitting 19-year-old Kamal Gelle.

The city fired Kinsey, but an arbitrator ordered that he be reinstated.

This week, the court of appeals reversed that decision, adding that Kinsey had a prior history of using excessive force and failing to properly report his behavior.

Now, city leaders in Richfield are applauding the court’s decision, saying the officer was fired because of his deliberate failure to follow policy related to reporting incidents.

The League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association wrote letters of support for the city of Richfield.

On the other hand, Sean Gormley, the executive director of union representing Kinsey, said the court’s decision deals “an unprecedented blow to a basic pillar of collective bargaining: binding arbitration.”

“We believe that the decision to fire him was driven by a rush to judgment based on only partial audio and video recordings, and without a proper consideration of the facts,” he said.

Kinsey has the option to continue his legal fight. His attorneys could choose to take the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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