White St. Paul Officer Apologizes During Sentencing for Assaulting Innocent Black Man Was Already Getting Mauled By Police Dog
A former St. Paul, Minnesota officer was sentenced to six years in prison by a federal court judge on Friday, May 21, for using excessive force against an unarmed civilian during a 2016 arrest involving a K-9. Brett Palkowitsch, 31, had been found guilty of kicking and injuring then-52-year-old Frank Baker as another officer was allowing a police dog to maul Baker’s leg.
Palkowitsch was also found guilty of a civil rights violation in November 2019 apologized for his use of excessive force. The former officer also waived the right to appeal the conviction. The hearing was delayed due to the pandemic.
“Law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect the public,” the FBI Minneapolis Field Office said in a statement. “When an officer betrays that oath and violates a person’s civil rights, that officer must be held accountable. Our community, and our profession, deserve no less.”
“You flagrantly abused that trust,” she said. The incident took place on June 24, 2016, Baker had arrived at his home when he took off his dress shirt and remained in his vehicle to make a phone call. Around the same time someone made a report about a potential fight and the dispatcher told police the suspect was a Black man with dreads wearing a white T-shirt.
Once police arrived on the scene they found no sign of a fight but see Baker in his car. K-9 handler Brian Ficcadenti was the first to approach the Baker and ordered him out of the car. According to testimony, Baker complied with the command, however, when he emerged from the vehicle with police yelling at him and the dog barking at him Ficcadenti set the dog on the grandfather within seven seconds of his emergence from his car.
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