Duluth, Minnesota Police Officer Richard Jouppi has been charged with assault after a surveillance video (below) showed him hitting a drunk 50-year-old man, Anthony Jon Jackson, in a wheelchair.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that Officer Jouppi has been placed on paid administrative leave while an independent prosecutor investigates the Sept. 21 incident.
Officer Jouppi and his partner arrested Jackson, who had allegedly been in two fights at his apartment complex, earlier that night. Police said Jackson is able to walk, but was in the wheelchair when officers arrived.
The video shows Jackson asked by a female police staff member to remove his leather jacket. Jackson stands up and asks her, “Would you like me to throw it at you?”
The female staff member says: "Throw it at me, see what happens."
Jackson sits down and starts removing the jacket with help from Officer Jouppi. Moments later, Jackson grabs at Officer Jouppi’s face, who punches Jackson five times.
When the female staff member steps toward Jackson, Officer Jouppi tells her: "Shut up, back up, or I’ll arrest you, too. You don’t think people in a wheelchair can assault people? Turns out he just did."
Officer Jouppi already has five complaints on his personnel record, according to WDIO-TV. The charges against Jackson were dropped.