David Clifford fired from MPD following felony assault conviction [UPDATE]
One near-fatal punch cost Clifford his job and will probably land him in prison.
-- Original post from morning of May 21; update at bottom --
A month following his conviction for two counts of felony assault and another count of misdemeanor assault, former Minneapolis SWAT team executive officer David Clifford is out of a job.
Clifford nearly killed Star Tribune advertising employee Brian Vander Lee with a single punch to the head on the patio of Tanners Bar in Andover last June. Following his arrest, he was placed on paid administrative leave from the MPD, but according to numerous reports, the two-time recipient of the MPD's Medal of Honor has now officially been fired.
In a statement released following Clifford's conviction, MPD Chief Janeé Harteau characterized his actions as "not consistent with our department core values and high standards."
Clifford, 48, is scheduled to be sentenced July 11.
:::: UPDATE ::::
Though some questioned why it took the MPD a month to terminate Clifford following his conviction, it appears MPD officials initially made their move to fire him this winter.
After an "exhaustive" internal affairs investigation, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau took action in February to fire David Clifford, a nearly 20-year veteran of the police force, according to information provided by Minneapolis police.
The action was delayed when Clifford, 48, appealed the decision and filed a grievance under his rights as a member of the Police Federation of Minneapolis.
The union withdrew the grievance after a jury found him guilty of assault April 13, prompting his termination April 22 for "violating the Minneapolis Police Department's Code of Ethics," Minneapolis police said.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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