A video of a Twin Cities police officer arresting a man for not showing ID is causing an uproar on social media.
The West St. Paul Police Department says its received "numerous" phone calls and messages about the video, including death threats to officers.
The footage appears to be shot with a cellphone camera. As the video starts, you hear a man behind the camera asking the officer for his name and badge number, while the officer repeatedly asks for the man's ID. The man says he hasn't done anything wrong and won't show his ID unless the officer explains why he stopped him.
They make the same arguments back and forth for a bit, until about the 1:50 mark when the officer says ,"Alright you're under arrest." The camera continues to record as the man shouts for help and for someone to call 911.
"This officer came and harassed me for no reason. I do not need an ID to be on the sidewalk on a sunny day. I suspect this is assault, I don't consent to any searches, I don't consent to you touching me, I don't know why I'm being detained against your oath," he says
Then adds, "Someone please record this I am afraid for my life."
Here it is:
YouTube user Cosmic Hustle posted the 8 minute and 40 second clip on Tuesday, and as of Friday morning, it has over 7,800 views and nearly 200 comments.
The department responds
In a statement posted to Facebook, the department says the clip doesn't tell the whole story.
"Two of our officers were invited to a gathering and cook out at an apartment complex that included many young children. During this time the officers saw a man riding a bike on the apartment complex grounds watching the crowd including many children," the post says.
Police say one of the officers recognized the man, who he believed had an active arrest warrant. That's why he asked for ID. But when the man wouldn't comply after numerous requests, the officer arrested him for obstructing the legal process.
The officer was then able to verify the man's identity, but the warrant wasn't on the computer database yet, so he was released.
The next day, which was June 8 – which means the video wasn't posted to YouTube until about a month after this actually happened – the warrant was in the database and officers were able to make the arrest.
"As with all reports and arrests, our department has policies and procedures in effect that include reviews of actions taken by our officers to ensure compliance with state statutes and policies," the statement says.
The Star Tribune says the warrant was issued on June 7 after the man failed to appear in court on charges of drunken driving and violation of a no contact order stemming from a domestic abuse case.