The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota released police dashcam video (below) showing Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak violently arresting Anthony Promvongsa, a Laotian American man, in Worthington, Minnesota, on July 28.
According to a police report, Promvongsa pulled up behind Worthington Police Officer Colby Palmersheim "at a high rate of speed" and "was so close that Palmersheim could not see the hood of Promvongsa's vehicle," notes City Pages.
Palmersheim said in the report that he moved over because Promvongsa was attempting to pass, but Promvongsa kept tailgating him. At some point, Promvongsa allegedly pulled up and told Palmersheim to "stay there as he was going to go get his boys and come back."
Joswiak stated in a criminal complaint that he later searched for Promvongsa, and saw a gray Honda coming towards him, which forced him [Joswiak] to pull towards a curb to avoid a collision, reports KARE.
According to Joswiak, he turned on his emergency lights and sirens, but Promvongsa refused to stop. Worthington Police Sgt. Tim Gaul came to help, and the two lawmen stopped Promvongsa.
The dashcam footage shows Promvongsa pulling over, and Joswiak running up to his car, gun drawn, and cursing: "Get the f*** out of the car, motherf******! Show me your f****** hands!" reports City Pages.
Joswiak is seen opening the car door before repeatedly punching and kneeing Promvongsa, who may have been buckled in his seat.
Suddenly the audio is cut off, and a second officer is seen looking back at the dashcam. The ACLU of Minnesota says in the video that the second officer intentionally turned off the audio (remotely), which could indicate a cover-up attempt.
The Worthington Police Department issued a statement following the incident, reports KARE.
"The video, viewed in a vacuum, shows only a short segment of the incident that is the basis of the criminal charges..." the statement reads. "...Our agencies ask that the media and the public remain patient as the criminal case progresses accordingly."
Promvongsa pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including driving with a revoked driver's license, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (car), marijuana possession (small) and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, City Pages reports.
Promvongsa issued a statement about the incident in an ACLU press release:
I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer. I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack. I immediately pulled over for the Worthington squad car and before I knew what was happening I was beat and ripped from my vehicle.