Minneapolis police use pepper spray to roughly break up house party [VIDEO]
Grant Mayland's face was swollen and red after he was pepper sprayed by police.
Tactics used by Minneapolis cops to break up a house party early Saturday morning have some partygoers crying foul.
At around 3 that morning, police, following up on a noise complaint, made their second trip that night to the house where the party was happening, which is located near Chicago Avenue and Lake Street in south Minneapolis. Once there, two cops walked in the house and slapped a pair of handcuffs on one of the party's organizers before pepper spraying him in the face. Other witnesses say police then indiscriminately sprayed pepper spray or some other type of irritant in the house's kitchen area to get other partygoers to leave.
Here's the footage, which was shot by partygoer and videographer Dillon Bakke:
Reached for comment yesterday, Grant Mayland, the party organizer who can be seen getting handcuffed in the video, said his face was still swollen from the pepper spray, which he said was sprayed directly into his eye from point-blank range. He said he also has a bump on his head from police slamming him to the floor. He sent along this picture of abrasions on his arms incurred when police roughly slapped handcuffs on him (click to enlarge):
As you can see in the video, police repeatedly told Mayland he was under arrest. Yet after pepper spraying him and holding him for what he says was more than a half hour in the back of a squad, he was released. He says cops ultimately wrote him a citation for "participating in a noisy assembly," and that to his knowledge, the only other person who was placed in handcuffs was the property owner, who was also released without being taken to the police station.
But Mayland insists cops didn't need to use as much force as they did to disrupt the party, which he estimates involved no more than 100 people (Bakke put the number of partygoers at 200 to 300). Mayland says that after cops came to the house the first time, he made sure folks who were outside took their conversations indoors, and that the music was turned down.
"I've always been a huge supporter of Minneapolis police, but I've never seen anything like it... just unprovoked aggression from authority," Mayland said, adding that he's never been arrested before. "It was by no means a rowdy party with violence, it was just people having a good time drinking some beers."
Mayland says he believes he was singled out for rough treatment by the cops because he functioned as the party spokesman during their first trip to the house. He says he at no point tried to physically resist the police officers.
"It was just a power trip, it felt like a power trip to me," he said.
Meanwhile, Bakke, a friend of Mayland's who regularly films "underground" events in Minneapolis, says he's been at a number of house parties that have been broken up by the MPD. In his experience, cops usually handle situations like that in a more "respectful" manner, he said.
"We were just enjoying being free humans, you know?" Bakke said. "Something got in their coffee or doughnuts that night."
In a subsequent email message, Bakke said he, Mayland, and other folks at the party aren't troublemakers.
We're "just all friends lookin to enjoy a nice summer night," Bakke wrote. "To me its [sic] still so crazy that they would just pepper spray a home... very excessive."
Bakke speculated that perhaps the cops who broke up the house party on Saturday morning were upset because over the weekend, news broke that the MPD is facing 61 lawsuits alleging officers used excessive force that led to injuries. By comparison, St. Paul cops currently face 19 misconduct lawsuits.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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