The Richfield police officer caught on video shoving and smacking a teenager will not face charges.
Two cops involved in the October 3 incident, which took place in the first-ring burb’s Adams Hill Park, were put on paid leave during a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office reviewed the investigation and passed on pressing charges.
A cellphone video captured part of the exchange between the officer and Kamal Gelle, a Somali-American teen from Columbia Heights. The cop was responding to a suspicious person call and is seen on video ordering Gelle to leave, shoving his back.
“Move when I tell you to. We’re working right here now fucking move!” the cop shouts.
From the video, it’s not entirely clear what Gelle says in response as he lingers in the park. But seconds later the cop smacks the 19-year-old upside the head before the video cuts. A spokesperson for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which only handles possible felonies, says it reviewed the investigation and that the cop’s shove-and-smack moves could “in no way be a felony,” so it would be up to the city attorney to press charges. County attorneys also concluded that the cop couldn’t be charged with making felony terroristic threats.
Richfield City Attorney Mary Tietjen tells Kare 11 that a special prosecutor looked at the case and also declined to pursue charges. The officer is still on administrative leave and the Richfield Police Department will now do an internal investigation of its own.
Nate Kinsey, the officer involved, has been disciplined at least twice for getting too physical with suspects. According to the Star Tribune, Kinsey was demoted in 2013 for not following guidelines on the use of force. Kinsey is also being sued by a man who claims Kinsey punched him in the head nine times while he was on the ground during a 2011 incident.
At the time Dustin Schwarze, one of the officers involved in Jamar Clark's killing, was a Richfield cop and was also named in the suit. Video shows a cop, allegedly Schwarze, repeatedly tasing the man while he was on the ground.