Compassionate White Bystander Pleads with Minnesota Officer to Stop Harassing Black Pedestrian 

An Edina, Minnesota police officer was captured on tape grabbing and inconveniencing a Black man walking along the street last week.

The Oct. 12 video went viral adding fuel to the debate over police misconduct. According to an Oct. 15 Minneapolis NAACP press release, white eyewitness and mediator Janet Rowles was responsible for documenting the non-fatal police interaction.

In the 7-minute clip, 34-year-old Minneapolis man Larnie B. Thomas is grabbed and roughed up by plainclothes police officer Lt. T.F. Olson for walking in the street. At the time, the Thomas walked in street due to construction going on a sidewalk. Viewers can hear Thomas plea with Olson to let him go on with his day. However, the officer continues to grab and escort the man back to the parked SUV.

“You can’t just put your hands on me, man,” Thomas yells out in frustration. “This is bullsh—.” But the maligned struggle continues.

In the NAACP press release, Nekima Levy-Pounds, attorney and President of the Minneapolis NAACP, comments on the current situation of police brutality in America. “Watching that video and seeing a Black man being manhandled and emasculated by Edina Police was not only painful and humiliating. It was a vivid reminder that Blacks are still too-often seen as second class citizens in the State of Minnesota and in this nation … It is sad to say, but that man in the video could easily have been the next #PhilandoCastile or #JamarClark. Unarmed Black men who were killed by police within the last year. When will we say #EnoughisEnough?”

According to Edina Police Department, Thomas was approached by Olson because he was “walking in the lane of traffic” and smelled of alcohol.

The Star Tribune reports that Thomas was initially charged for disorderly conduct and failure to obey a traffic signal. However, Mayor Jovi Hovland announced Sunday that those charges will be dropped.

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