Richfield police have to rehire a cop who hit a teenager

"We do not agree with this decision nor do we condone this type of behavior," Police Chief Jay Henthorne said.
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A Twin Cities area cop who was captured on video apparently striking a teenager can go back to work.

Following the Oct., 2015 incident, the Richfield Police Department says Office Nate Kinsey was investigated and terminated.

Then on Wednesday, an outside arbitrator reversed the city's termination, reinstated Kinsey as an officer, and gave him a three-day suspension.

Richfield's police chief issued a statement saying he is not happy with the ruling.

“We are extremely disappointed with the arbitrator’s decision," Police Chief Jay Henthorne said. "We do not agree with this decision nor do we condone this type of behavior."

Henthorne went on to say Kinsey was given "every opportunity to correct his behavior," but the officer never did. That's why Kinsey was fired.

“This decision strikes to the heart of what police officers are not supposed to do," Chief Henthorne stated. "We are sworn to protect and serve not hurt and humiliate.”

The chief said his department is working hard to create a culture of accountability and build trust with the community.

The city will be considering the use of body cameras for its officers, and "extensive" retraining of all sworn police personnel. It's also looking into options to appeal this decision.

What happened?

On Oct. 3, 2015, Officer Kinsey responded to Adams Hill Park on a suspicious person call.

KSTP says Kinsey arrived right around the same time 19-year-old Kamal Gelle and three friends got to the park to play basketball. The station says Kinsey gave Gelle a driving citation, and told the group they could leave.

When the group started making their way towards the basketball courts, Kinsey reportedly stopped them again. Around that time is when the officer is said to have stuck the boy.

The incident was captured in a video and posted to Twitter. KSTP has a clip of the video here.

A few days later, the department heard about the incident and put Kinsey on administrative leave while the situation was investigated.

After reviewing everything, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office decided not to press charges against the officer. A special prosecutor also looked at the case. The prosecutor didn't press charges, either.

Following an internal investigation, Kinsey was terminated from his position Richfield Police Department.

Kinsey had been with the department for 10 years, and the Star Tribune previously reported he had been disciplined before over incidents involving “improper use of force.”

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