Two Richfield, Minnesota, police officers were placed on administrative leave after a cell phone video (below) surfaced on Twitter of one of the officers pushing and hitting Kamal Gelle, a Somali man, on Oct. 3.
The Richfield Police Department said on Oct. 5 that the unidentified officers were responding to a "suspicious person" report, notes the Associated Press.
Gelle (pictured) told KARE 11 that the police officer on the video originally ticketed him for careless driving and told him at the time: "Leave my city, and don't come back for the rest of tonight or I'm going to tow your car."
Gelle claims that he parked his vehicle and was speaking to his brother on a cell phone when the same officer approached him in the video.
"Then I told him, 'It's a public property. Why are you pushing me?'" Gelle recalled. "And then he walks up to me again, and then I was expecting another push, but he just slaps me, and I just walked away."
The Richfield Police Department declined to answer questions from KARE 11, but did say on Oct. 6 that the officers were going on leave, and that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was taking over the investigation; it's not clear what part the second officer may have played in the incident.
Gelle, his family and the Somali Human Rights Commission met with the Richfield police chief and other members of the department on Oct. 6.
"I appreciate the fact that they talked to me about it and that they hear my side of the story, and I'm really glad that he's not working, that he's not patrolling, that he's not doing anything right now," Gelle said.