AP NEWS

St. Paul officer says he thought man he kicked had a gun

November 21, 2019 GMT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A St. Paul police officer on trial for allegedly using excessive force has testified he thought the man he kicked had a gun.

Officer Brett Palkowitsch kicked Frank Baker on June 24, 2016, as Baker was being bitten by a police dog.

Baker was unarmed and suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Palkowitsch testified Wednesday that he immediately delivered two kicks to Baker, whose right calf was in the jaws of the K-9 named Falco. Palkowitsch said he made sure not to aim at Baker’s head.

As the K-9 handler moved in to handcuff Baker, Palkowitsch said he saw Baker “sit up” and move his hands down toward his waist.

Palkowitsch said he took that movement “as a threat” and delivered a third kick.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org