Duluth officer Richard Jouppi brutally beat a drunk man in a wheelchair [VIDEO]

Jouppi went ballistic after a man in a wheelchair clawed at his face.
Jouppi went ballistic after a man in a wheelchair clawed at his face.

Duluth police officer Richard Jouppi, 34, has been placed on paid administrative leave and is under criminal investigation after brutally beating a drunk man in a wheelchair at the Duluth Detoxification Center on September 21.

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Jouppi's victim, 50-year-old Anthony Jackson of Duluth, was originally charged with felony assault for reaching up and clawing at Jouppi just before the officer unloaded a flurry of punches to his face. But that charge was dropped after the St. Louis County Attorney's office reviewed footage of the altercation, which you can see for yourself below the jump.

Here's the shocking footage:

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the Duluth PD wants to see Jouppi charged with misdemeanor fifth-degree assault.

The video seems pretty cut and dry, but Fredric Bruno, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Legal Defense Fund attorney representing Jouppi, says there's more to this story than meets the eye.

Bruno, speaking of Jackson, told the Tribune:

This is not a helpless guy in a wheelchair. He had trashed his room in the public facility he was living in. He was taken forcibly to detox and alluded to the fact that he had a .38 pistol and a .45 pistol. He punched Officer Jouppi, disorienting him. He was a subject being subdued. He's (Jouppi) got some concerns about him. The guy (Jackson), at a minimum, should have a disorderly conduct at the facility, probably a terroristic threat against detox staff and probably a fourth-degree assault against Officer Jouppi. He's not exactly a sympathetic character as he's being portrayed.

The Tribune reports that Jackson is able to walk, but was in a wheelchair when officers arrived at his apartment on reports he was extremely drunk and had been in two fights that night.

In a police report, here's what Jouppi had to say about the detox facility incident:

I controlled his right arm at the elbow in order to prevent Jackson from (following) through with his threat to strike a staff member. Jackson quickly swung his left hand and struck me in the face near my left eye forehead area which caused me to experience pain. I sought to take Jackson into custody and delivered two strikes to Jackson's face as it was the only target presented to me at the time and in order to keep him from delivering more strikes. I flipped the wheelchair onto its handles which brought Jackson's back down to the ground. Once on the ground we were able to turn Jackson over and place him into handcuffs.

The Tribune reports that if criminal charges are indeed filed against Jouppi, it will likely cost him his job. In March, Jouppi signed a "Final and Last Chance Agreement," which stipulates: "Any future acts or omissions which violate public trust and/or violate (police policy) will be deemed an act of gross insubordination justifying termination."

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