Richfield police officer seen hitting teen in Twitter video put on leave
RICHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) - A Richfield police officer is on administrative leave after a video of him pushing and hitting a teen Saturday night gained significant attention on Twitter.
Richfield police released a statement Tuesday saying the officer in the video was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into what actually happened the night of Oct. 3.
The department says they are taking the complaint very seriously. Chief Jay Henthorne has already met with Somali community activist Omar Jamal, chief executive of the Somali Human Rights Commission regarding the incident.
The teen who took the video tells Fox 9 he was with a large group of friends in two cars both pulled over while leaving Adams Hill Park in Richfield.
He said the officer began getting very agitated, and in the video you can hear him telling another teen to back away. The officer pushes him, and as they continue talking, the officer hits him across the head.
“The officer was getting really aggressive like he was about to do something,” Mohamed Hayir, who recorded and posted the video, said. “I was like I might as well record this just in case something does happen.”
Richfield police said it began with a call of a "suspicious person" in the park at 6:30 p.m., and the cars were pulled over as a result of that. They are still investigating what exactly unfolded at the park, but Hayir says his friend was not being disrespectful.
“He did not disrespect him. You could hear everything in the video. He was being respectful. He was telling the officer his situation; he was telling him his brother is coming to get the car.”
The teen in the video that was pushed and hit by the officer wants to get a lawyer.
Richfield police say they will remain transparent throughout the investigation.