Former St. Paul cop gets 6 years in federal prison for kicking man, allowing K-9 to bite him

The officer kicked a man and allowed a K-9 to bite him during an arrest in 2016.
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A former St. Paul police officer who kicked a man and allowed a police dog to bite him in 2016 has been to six years in federal prison for using excessive force during an arrest.

Federal Judge Wilhelmina Wright sentenced Brett Palkowitsch, 33, on Friday morning and he was ordered to self-surrender at 10 a.m. on June 21, court records show. 

Palkowitsch was seen on video kicking Frank Baker three times in the chest on June 24, 2016. Baker – who matched a description of an armed suspect but wasn't the suspect – was on the ground being bitten by a K-9 officer at the direction of the dog's handler Brian Ficcadenti when Palkowitsch kicked him.

Baker was hospitalized for two weeks, treated for dog bites, broken ribs and two partially collapsed lungs. He later won a $2 million settlement from the city. 

Palkowitsch was indicted in 2019 on a civil rights violation for using excessive force in the incident.

In court Friday, Palkowitsch tearfully apologized, according to MPR News

“I hope that today gives you a little bit of closure, but I know for the rest of your life it’s something you’re going to have to deal with. For the rest of my life, it’s something that I’m going to have to live with as well,” Palkowitsch said. “But from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”

Palkowitsch also apologized to the St. Paul Police Department, and Baker said he forgives Palkowitsch but doesn't accept his apology, MPR notes. 

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