Pedestrians be warned.
If you walk in the street, instead of on the sidewalk, a police officer might confront you.
Likewise, for police: If you try to bust someone for committing this crime, someone might film you.
A video clip making the viral rounds depicts the aftermath of a police officer in suburban Edina catching a black man walking in the street, instead of on the sidewalk. By the time the video starts, the man is already being forcefully walked back to a squad car.
"You can't just put your hands on me, man," he says. "This is bullshit."
The civilian becomes increasingly incensed, saying he had no choice but to enter the street, as the sidewalk was closed.
The woman filming, apparently not connected to the original incident, tries giving helpful advice to the police officer, saying he could simply tell the man a better place to walk.
"He's scared, sir," she says. "It's scary."
The black man is, by this point, less interested in that kind of dialogue. "Fuck you!" he says.
The cop replies: "That language you can't use in this neighborhood, OK?"
"OK," the man says. "Then I'll keep walking..."
No, he won't. The man twists and sheds clothing in an attempt to get loose from the officer's grip, though he never attempts a full-fledged escape.
The cop radios for backup, and soon another squad car rolls in. That cop instantly starts putting the man in handcuffs.
"My partner told me you're under arrest," the second cop says.
"No," the woman filming corrects, "he never said that."
She continues, in a scolding voice: "You could've just shown him where to walk, really kindly. You were the one that incited this."
The video, which has been shared by Rhymesayers rapper Toki Wright, among others, went rapidly viral, and the city of Edina put out a statement Friday afternoon addressing what happened. The city's version says the tape this woman took leaves out a defiant stance taken by the man who would later be placed under arrest.
"This incident started several minutes prior to the recording. During that time, our police officer observed a man walking southbound on Xerxes Avenue at West 60th Street in the southbound lane of traffic, though there is a sidewalk on the east side and a sidewalk under construction and a paved shoulder on the west side of the street. Recognizing the risk to the safety of the public, the officer pulled in behind the man with his lights and an audible signal in an attempt to advise him to get out of the roadway. The man, who was wearing headphones, turned and looked at the officer and continued walking in the lane of traffic. The officer then drove in front of the man by approximately 15 feet, to block him from continuing in the southbound lane of traffic. The man deliberately went around the squad car and continued to walk in the lane of traffic. The officer got out of his vehicle and started to follow the man, asking him to get out of the lane of traffic and stop. The man did not stop and was defiant. It was after that point that the recording began. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath during the incident. A breathalyzer later confirmed the presence of alcohol."
The statement from Edina adds that, while it's legal to film interactions between police and civilians, "attempting to interact with the officer and/or suspect creates a greater risk to the safety of the officer, suspect, and bystanders."
At one point early in the filming, the first officer explains why he can't just let the man walk free.
"We're going to have a discussion about a whole bunch of stuff that's going on right now," he says.
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