Former St. Paul police officer sentenced to 6 years in prison for kicking man downed by K-9

The beating by former St. Paul police officer Brett Palkowitsch was captured on video in 2016.

A former St. Paul police officer convicted in an excessive force case, in which prosecutors said he kicked an unarmed citizen who was already taken down by a K-9 dog, has been sentenced to six years behind bars.

Brett Palkowitsch was sentenced this week after his conviction in November of 2019.

During his trial, prosecutors said Palkowitsch was involved in a 911 call in June of 2016 for a street fight involving a man who was carrying a gun. When officers arrived, police said they didn't find a fight but officers spotted a man who matched the description of the suspect sitting in a car, talking on his cellphone.

Without identifying themselves, prosecutors said one of the officers approached the vehicle and ordered the 52-year-old man out. One officer shouted orders at the man then eventually released a K-9 dog, which took the man to the ground.

As the man was on the ground screaming, prosecutors said Palkowitsch pulled up to the scene and started kicking the man, breaking seven of his ribs and causing both of his lungs to collapse.

When all was said and done, police learned the man who was mauled and kicked lived in the neighborhood. Officers found no gun on the man and couldn't prove he had been involved in any fight.

Two of the officers who witnessed the altercation later reported Palkowitsch to their supervisors and testified during the trial. Those officers testified that there was no reason for Palkowitsch to kick the man and said that Palkowitsch boasted about the attack.