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Community leaders decry violent St. Paul police arrest caught on video

A coalition of five black civic and religious leaders assembled in St. Paul Saturday to denounce the violent arrest of a man in the North End Park earlier this week. The arrest of 30-year-old Eric Ronnell Hightower Tuesday was captured on video by a friend an uploaded on YouTube.
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A coalition of five black civic and religious leaders assembled in St. Paul Saturday to denounce the violent arrest of a man in the North End Park earlier this week, reports the Pioneer Press.

The arrest of 30-year-old Eric Ronell Hightower Tuesday was captured on a cell phone video by a friend an uploaded on YouTube Wednesday and has already been viewed more than 267,000 times. In the video, Officer Jesse Zilge can be seen kicking Hightower in the head during the arrest.

One of leaders who appeared in public Saturday, the Rev. Melvin Miller of the Progressive Baptist Church in St. Paul, called the situation "intolerable."

St. Paul Police Union officials said Zilge was put on paid administrative leave earlier this week. WCCO-TV reported that a second officer was put on paid administrative leave Friday -- and was later identified as Officer Matthew Gorans. Police did not disclose if Gorans can be seen in the videotaped incident.

On Thursday, Hightower was charged with with aggravated stalking, making terroristic threats, and fourth-degree criminal damage to property for allegedly stalking and threatening his ex-girlfriend.

Video of the incident can be viewed below. Please note, the video contains violent images and explicit language.

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