West St. Paul police receive death threats over video of arrest

Cell phone video of West St. Paul police making an arrest led to officers receiving some death threats through email and Facebook messages.

The video has been seen thousands of times on social media and now both the man arrested and West St. Paul police are trying to clarify what happened.

The incident unfolded at Holiday Acres Apartments on June 7.

The cell phone video starts off with both the man being arrested and the officers trying to identify one another.

Devin Riley makes no apologies for refusing to give West St. Paul police his name or identification.

“I seen a cop car and took a picture of it and said hi to the police department and continued on my way,” said Riley.

West St. Paul police say in statement they were invited to the apartment complex for a gathering and cookout that included many young children.

During that time, officers saw "[Riley] riding his bike and watching the crowd with no apparent purpose. One of the officers believed he knew [Riley] and his past conduct including convictions for crimes of violence."

Meanwhile, Riley says he was there less than two minutes.

“Why not show him my ID?” said Riley. “Because we don't have to unless we are suspected of a crime.”

“Clearly [the officer] had the lawful authority to stop, and Mr. Riley refused to cooperate,” said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom.

Backstrom won't be prosecuting the case, but already has a couple of felony cases pending against Riley, including one of two restraining orders currently filed against him.

“If an officer has reasonable suspicion or that a crime has occurred or that there has been a violation of the law they can stop anyone and question that individual,” said Backstrom.

The video picture goes dark later in the video, but the audio continues when Riley is arrested for obstructing the legal process.

He's shortly released, but it's later learned there is a warrant for his arrest not updated in the computer database yet, after what Riley calls a clerical mistake for him not showing up for court that morning.

“I think there is corruption all the way up the court system,” said Riley.

“In the vast number of cases officers do the right thing, and the officer did the right thing in this case,” said Backstrom.

Riley says he will be filing complaint against the officer, meanwhile the Dakota County Attorney says those death threats against officers are being investigated.