Chief Tim Dolan 'very disappointed' by KSTP cameraman shoving incident [UPDATE]
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan has responded to a video showing one of his officers pushing a news camera off the shoulder of photographer Chad Nelson on Saturday night.
"From my preliminary review of the video regarding Mr. Nelson, the officer's interference does not appear to be necessary," he writes in a statement released this morning. "If that is the case, I am a [sic] very disappointed."
But that's not all Chief Dolan has done since finding out about the incident, according to KSTP news director Lindsay Radford.
Nelson was trying to record an arrest taking place on Nicollet Mall during a "Re-Occupy Minneapolis" demonstration. While one officer was cuffing a marcher, a second one came up on Nelson's left. Based on footage of the incident, the second officer appeared to violently shove the heavy camera, causing the equipment to break. Nelson also told Radford that his neck and shoulder were injured. (Watch the incident here.)
Radford demanded a meeting with Dolan over the incident. She just got word that, along with an Internal Affairs investigation, Dolan has agreed to reach out to Nelson to discuss what happened.
Update: KSTP reports on its own site that Dolan called Nelson and apologized.
"We're pleased that the police department is looking into the matter so quickly and that they're taking it seriously," says Radford.
Here's Dolan's full statement:
The Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit is in the process of reviewing the incident involving a KSTP cameraman Chad Nelson last Saturday evening. We instructed all of our officers before this, and any demonstration, to not take individual actions unless they are warranted for personal safety. From my preliminary review of the video regarding Mr. Nelson, the officer's interference does not appear to be necessary. If that is the case, I am a very disappointed.
Timothy J. Dolan
Chief, Minneapolis Police
Radford adds that after station engineers looked at the camera, they found that the damage was minimal and it's now back in working order. Nelson's footage from the evening was salvaged as well.
"We're going to take the next 24 hours to just reassess everything," she says. "Chad wanted to take some time to consider what his options are."
Although she's pleased with the police department's rapid response, Radford said KSTP will still back Nelson should he choose to move forward with any kind of criminal or civil action against the cop.
Says Radford: "We still feel the behavior of the officer was out of line for the environment."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.