A widely circulated video clip shows a black man walking down a St. Paul sidewalk pleading with a police officer.
"Don't shoot me, sir," says the man, repeatedly, walking at a brisk clip with his hands in the air.
The cop walks down the street next to the civilian, ordering him to stop and get on the ground. Both are very aware that their actions are being filmed, but just in case, the man points at the camera and says: "She's recording this!"
"I know!" the cop responds, both hands gripping his handgun.
The video, filmed midday on September 22 by a woman driving down the same block, cuts off before the scene between these two men ends. The man being pursued crosses the street, the cop follows, and the two exit the frame stage right.
Before cutting off the phone camera, the woman offers this stranger some advice.
"Shorty," she says, "you need to listen to him, straight up. Sit yo' ass down."
The short clip was viewed tens of thousands of times after being uploaded to Facebook, though, as with many such filmings of police conduct, it lacked a beginning and ending. The Pioneer Press tracked down the details behind this one.
The man being pursued is Hadjii Covington, who had seven warrants -- four for felony fraud, and three for minor offenses -- out for his arrest. Turns out, just after crossing the street, Covington hopped a fence and ran away. Police failed to catch him, and he's still a wanted man.
Xiong Yang was identified as the officer walking alongside Covington. Yang had identified Covington as a wanted man, and believed him to be armed at that time: Covington is suspected of shooting at a man in St. Paul this past August.
Interestingly enough, Covington (or someone claiming to be him) responded to the Pioneer Press about the video, acknowleding that he was wanted on warrants, but saying "none of those are violent."
Said Covington: “I never shot at nobody. I never had a weapon.”
Covington might have added another crime to his growing record, as a police deparmtment spokesman says he could be charged for fleeing a police officer.
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