I wanted to know more about the circumstances surrounding the St. Paul MN police brutality video that went viral showing an officer kicking an unarmed man, lying on the ground, in the throat. Surely the man was wanted for some violent crime...had to be a known vicious criminal, no? No. So here is what I found out.
Watch the video that started it all here http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8c1_1346251834
From KARE ST. PAUL, Minn. - By now the video of Eric Hightower being kicked by a four-year veteran officer of the St. Paul Police Department has been viewed around the country, but it's what led to it that is now coming forward.
"He stalks me. He threatens me, and he leaves me voicemails," Hightower's ex-girlfriend Kara Drew said Thursday.
Drew says she was in a relationship with Hightower for a year and a half when it ended last month. She says he started threatening her shortly thereafter. Police say they recovered seven voicemails on Drew's phone, all from Hightower saying as much.
On Tuesday, Drew says Hightower made his final threat.
"He called me 10 minutes before the police got there threatening my life, telling me he would beat my (butt), blow my head off, telling me I'm going to have nowhere to live," Drew said.
She called police and an officer was on Hightower's trail moments later. That officer caught up to Hightower near Lewis Park in St. Paul and that is where the incident happened.
Hightower was on the ground when the officer kicked him in the chest, it was caught on video and it went viral as the latest alleged incident in police brutality.
On Thursday, when Hightower was bailed out of jail, he said almost nothing. Seamus Mahoney, Hightower's attorney, says Hightower was injured by that officer. "He's not doing great. He has bumps and bruises and physical pain," Mahoney said. Mahoney wouldn't say what legal avenues he will explore in light of this case.
Hightower still faces felony charges for stalking and threatening Drew and she, even when seeing the tape of Hightower's beating, says she feels no sympathy. "This is what you deserve for bothering me, for messing up my life, for ruing it for hitting me," she said. Hightower is free on bail, but is to have no contact with Drew or leave the state.
The St. Paul Police officer is on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
St Paul Police Chief Tom Smith identified the officer who kicked Hightower as Jesse Zilge. He has been placed on administrative leave as has been Officer Matthew Gorans
The video shows Zilge kicking Hightower in the chest/neck when he is lying on the ground and coughing after he had been sprayed with pepper spray. He then handcuffs Hightower, drags him to his feet and, with the assistance of another officer, presumable Gorans, slams Hightower's head onto the hood of a squad car.
Gorans was suspended for three days in 2010 after being accused of excessive force. He has been with the department since 2009.
INTERVIEW WITH MAN WHO SHOT VIDEO OF INCIDENT
INTERVIEW WITH EX GF HIGHTOWER THREATENED
In: Citizen Journalism
Tags: st paul, police brutality, police, brutality, kicked, cop, officer, update, beat
Location: St Paul, Minnesota, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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