St. Paul Officer Says He Thought Man He Kicked Had a Gun
ST. PAUL (AP) -- A St. Paul police officer on trial for allegedly using excessive force has testified he thought the man he kicked had a gun.
Officer Brett Palkowitsch kicked Frank Baker on June 24, 2016, as Baker was being bitten by a police dog.
Baker was unarmed and suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs.
Palkowitsch testified Wednesday that he immediately delivered two kicks to Baker, whose right calf was in the jaws of the K-9 named Falco. Palkowitsch said he made sure not to aim at Baker's head.
As the K-9 handler moved in to handcuff Baker, Palkowitsch said he saw Baker "sit up" and move his hands down toward his waist.
Palkowitsch said he took that movement "as a threat" and delivered a third kick.