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Internal investigation underway after video shows MPD officer punching person during arrest

The incident happened Wednesday night in North Minneapolis.

An internal investigation underway after a video circulating on social media shows a Minneapolis police officer punching a person Wednesday night in North Minneapolis, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said during a news conference on Thursday.

"The case has already been submitted to our internal affairs division. There is an investigation that is already underway," Frey said, citing data practices for not being able to comment further on the incident. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the incident began with a carjacking in New Hope, noting officers with the Robbinsdale Police Department located the suspect vehicle and eventually stopped it near the 3200 block of James Avenue North in Minneapolis. While Robbinsdale PD was trying to take the suspects into custody, they issued a help call, prompting officers from Minneapolis PD to arrive to assist. 

"At some point in time, they needed to make sure one of the individuals out there, the suspects, could get some medical attention. They needed to, because of the crowd, they needed to get him out of the area to get that treatment," Arradondo said during the news conference. 

The incident that was captured on video is "being investigated," Arradondo said, noting because it's an open investigation he says he is limited on what he's able to talk about.

Arradondo did say he doesn't know if the punch involved a suspect the Robbinsdale PD was trying to take into custody or if it involved someone else. 

Video of the incident posted to social media shows several people, including people who appear to be juveniles, and several officers at the scene. 

At one point, an officer takes a run-up before punching an individual who was being held by other officers.

A news conference is due to be held at 3 p.m. involving some of the witnesses to the incident.

What police say happened

According to a news release from the Robbinsdale and New Hope police departments, New Hope police were called to the 9400 block of Northwood Parkway at 3:50 p.m. regarding a robbery and vehicle theft, noting the report involved "multiple suspects who forcibly removed elderly victims from their vehicle, stole items of their person, and fled in the stolen vehicle."

Robbinsdale police then observed the vehicle that was taken and attempted to pull it over near 36th Avenue North and June Avenue North. The suspect "attempted to evade police," and police pursued the vehicle into Minneapolis.

"Three suspects fled on foot after the vehicle came to a stop in the 3300 block of Knox Avenue North. Minneapolis police assistance was requested," the release says.

Police, with the assistance of a Minneapolis K-9, located one of the suspects hiding in a nearby shed and took them into custody.

"While attempting to apprehend the suspects, officers from the Minneapolis and Robbinsdale police departments were met by a crowd of people, many of whom obstructed officers and made it unsafe to allow an ambulance from coming into the area. The arrested person was turned over to the New Hope Police Department as part of their carjacking investigation," the release says.  

The carjacking suspect and the other individual who was the subject of the use of force was also taken into custody, Arradondo said. He did ask that people "allow us the time to conduct a thorough investigation" and stressed that people need to give police and first responders the space to respond to incidents and help people.

Arradondo said it's still too early to say if they'll be releasing body camera footage. 

No other details about the incident have been released. 

This is a developing story.

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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