Man charged after Minneapolis officer hit by trash can lid during downtown unrest

A man has been charged after he allegedly threw a 15-pound metal trash can lid at a Minneapolis police officer, striking him in the head during a night of unrest in downtown Minneapolis.

"That [lid] struck a sergeant in the back of the head, who had no chance of seeing what was coming," said Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder.

Brayshaun Lamar Gibson, 28, has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, third-degree assault substantial bodily harm, second-degree rioting with a dangerous weapon and third-degree burglary.

On Aug. 26, looting broke out throughout downtown Minneapolis as misinformation spread after a homicide suspect died by suicide on Nicollet Mall. Rumors spread on social media the man had been shot and killed by police. In an attempt to stop the rumors, the Minneapolis Police Department released surveillance video of the incident.

According to the charges, at one point amid the looting, a police sergeant was walking back to his car in the 600 block of Nicollet Mall when Gibson threw the lid, striking the officer in the head and back of the neck. The sergeant fell to the ground unconscious. An ambulance took him to a nearby hospital.

The charges say the officer suffered a head injury and was treated for possible spinal damage. While the sergeant has been released from the hospital, he continues to receive ongoing treatment for his injuries.

Surveillance video from later in the evening of unrest showed Gibson take items from a store on Nicollet Mall, according to the charges. Those items were found in his home after officers executed a search warrant. In a police interview, Gibson admitted to getting involved in the "chaos" and acknowledged he had to face the consequences.

Gibson is in custody at the Hennepin County Jail.