MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A jury cleared a Minneapolis police officer of most charges Tuesday that he used excessive force then tried to cover it up.
Officer Michael Griffin, 40, had been accused of assaulting at least four people while identifying himself as a police officer when he was off-duty nearly six years ago. He was also charged with lying on official police reports.
Griffin’s attorney Robert Richman believes holes in witness testimony and inconclusive surveillance video from the second incident outside a Minneapolis night club largely contributed to the verdict.
“That surveillance video was somewhat in the eyes of the beholder, you could sort of see in that video whatever you chose to see,” Richman said.
Bob Kroll, President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, maintains Griffin’s innocence, saying he deserves to be back in uniform.
"He's cleared. He needs to come back to work. There's an internal hurdle now, but we're confident he'll be cleared on that and he will get back to serving the public," Kroll said.
Richman recognized that with police brutality being hotly debated nationwide, the case has garnered lots of attention.
"This was not a referendum on whether police are bad, this is a criminal case where his reputation, his freedom was on the line and the jury recognized that,” Richman said.
Technically, Griffin could still be tried on the charges that came back with a “no verdict,” although his attorney doesn’t think that’s very likely. He still faces yet another internal investigation.