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A Duluth, Minnesota, police officer will face criminal charges for, as a video shows, beating up a man in a detox facility last month, the city's police department said Thursday.
Shawn Reed, the independent counsel looking into the case, decided Thursday to press charges against Officer Richard Jouppi, according to a news release from Duluth police.
Jouppi will face counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
The officer's attorney, Frederic Bruno, defended his clients' actions as "100%" justified.
Security camera footage, later released to media, shows Jackson in a room sitting in a wheelchair trying to take off his coat. He stands up, trying to remove his jacket, when the police officer -- Jouppi, who had been standing by the door -- arrives and pins Jackson's arm behind his head, pushing him back.
The video shows Jackson pawing once at the police officer's face, as his other arm is pinned back. Jouppi responds with five punches to Jackson's head, then grabs him by the neck and pulls him off his wheelchair and onto the floor.
Jouppi, 36, faced fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct charges after the aggressive incident. This past November, Jouppi was found not guilty on all charges.
Even Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, was upset with the outcome and posted the following statement to his Facebook page,
“While I respect the judicial process I am very disappointed by the verdict in the Richard Jouppi case. His actions on September 21, 2012 were not consistent with department training or policy, bringing discredit to our department and detracting from the excellent work our women and men do on a daily basis. As I said previously, we will do everything we can legally to ensure he never works for our department again.”
The Duluth Police Union has now dropped it's grievance regarding disciplinary action taken by the City of Duluth against Jouppi.
Disciplinary documents recently released show Jouppi was on a last chance agreement with the Police Department as of March of 2012, just six months before the incident at the detox center. That agreement was good for three years, and stated that any further policy violations against Jouppi during that time could lead to his termination.
The disciplinary documents reveal that he violated public trust by interfering with and intentionally withholding important information in a criminal sexual assault case against a friend of his.