A Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer with a history of violence is out of jail and on paid home assignment after allegedly beating a man into critical condition while off the clock.
Sgt. David Clifford is still on the force even after the man he pummeled nearly two weeks earlier remains hospitalized. Brian Vander Lee, 43, has received two separate brain surgeries after an altercation with the 47-year-old Minneapolis Police SWAT Unit officer earlier this month almost ended in tragedy.
According to multiple eyewitness accounts, both men were sitting at separate tables on the outdoor patio of an Andover, MI eatery on June 16 when the officer left his seat to speak up because, as he tells investigators, he “took offense to some language” that Vander Lee was using.
“The other patrons and the manager who was visible on video said they didn’t hear anything like that,” Cmdr. Paul Sommer, spokesman for the Anoka county sheriff’s office, tells Pioneer Press.
When Vander Lee stood up, Clifford admits to striking the man, assuming he was about to be hit himself. That blow was enough to knock Vander Lee backwards, hitting his head on the concrete patio. Once transported to Mercy Hospital, he was placed on life support.
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- Cop keeps job after brutal restaurant attack leaves victim in critical condition (revolutioninmedia.com)
- Minneapolis police officer punches man unconscious on bar patio in Andover (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
- Man on Life Support After Minneapolis Cop Punches Him for ‘Talking Loud’ (cryptogon.com)
- Minn. SWAT Officer Accused of Punch is Out on Bail (kstp.com)
- Fund Set Up for Family of SWAT Punch Victim (kstp.com)
- Minneapolis SWAT Officer Charged With Assault (abcnews.go.com)
- Man on life support after Minneapolis cop punches him for ‘talking loud’ (rawstory.com)