The Roseville Police Department has been hit with a $500,000 lawsuit by a Minneapolis man who claims cops used excessive force against him during a traffic stop on eastbound Highway 36 last May.
Victor Yair Hernandez-Rivera, 25, was in the passenger seat of a car that was pulled over for speeding. The driver bolted on foot and wasn't apprehended, but Hernandez-Rivera was roughly thrown to the ground as he slowly emerged from the vehicle. With officers on top of him, he was repeatedly tasered, and dashboard cam footage appears shows a third officer taking a hard swing at him with his fist.
Here's the video:
We contacted Roseville PD spokesman Lorne Rosand for comment. He sent us a statement on behalf of Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig, reprinted here in full:
Roseville Police Department Opens Internal Affairs InvestigationFollowing his arrest, Hernandez-Rivera was charged with obstruction of the legal process with force and fleeing an officer on foot, but both charges were later dropped, the Pioneer Press reports.
On April 15, 2014 the Roseville Police Department received a Notice of a Lawsuit and Request to Waive Service of Summons involving Victor Yair Hernandez-Rivera and four Roseville Police Officers: Officer Justin Gunderson, Officer Erin Reski, Officer Kyle Eckert and Officer Grant Dattilo.
The Roseville Police Department takes allegations of this nature very seriously and pursuant to department policy has opened an internal affairs investigation into the events surrounding the arrest of Mr. Hernandez-Rivera. The internal affairs investigation can take considerable time to complete. We ask for the public's patience as we investigate the allegations.
The Roseville Police Department's Value Statement incorporates Service to the Community; Integrity; Respect; and Innovation as core values of the Department. These words hold true meaning and shape our contacts with the public as law enforcement effectiveness depends upon the community respect and confidence.
As the case involves a civil lawsuit this will be the Roseville Police Department's only statement on the matter at this time.
Chief of Police
Though officers can be heard screaming commands at Hernandez-Rivera in the video, he might not have understood them -- Hernandez-Rivera's attorney told the PiPress he speaks little English.
All four officers named in the lawsuit remain on duty pending the result of the internal affairs investigation.