Updated Aug. 29, 9:10 a.m. EDT: The St. Paul, Minn., Police Department issued a statement on its Facebook page defending the arrest of Chris Lollie in January of this year. The statement was reported by the Minneapolis City Pages.
In the statement, police say they were called by a private security company because a man had repeatedly entered a private "employees only" area in a bank. That man, identified as Lollie, refused to leave and refused to cooperate. Here's a portion of the police statement:
As is often the case, the video does not show the totality of the circumstances.
Our officers were called by private security guards on a man who was trespassing in a private area. The guards reported that the man had on repeated occasions refused to leave a private "employees only" area in the First National Bank Building.
With no information on who the man was, what he might be doing or why he refused to leave the area, responding Saint Paul police officers tried to talk to him, asking him who he was. He refused to tell them or cooperate.
Our officers are called upon and required to respond to calls for assistance and to investigate the calls. At one point, the officers believed he might either run or fight with them. It was then that officers took steps to take him into custody. He pulled away and resisted officers' lawful orders. They then used the force necessary to safely take him into custody.
He was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct. The full statement can be read here.
Updated Aug. 28, 2:56 p.m. EDT: The man in the video has been identified as 27-year-old Chris Lollie, according to the Minneapolis City Pages. According to the City Pages, police were responding to a call of a man loitering in front of the First National Bank building on Jan. 31 at 9:43 a.m.
It’s unclear why video of the incident is just surfacing, but a police report filed by officers on the same day and time that Lollie would have been arrested noted that a man "was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and obstructing the legal process, but those charges were later dropped."
It isn't the footage so much as the screams.
On Tuesday, video of an unidentified black man in St. Paul, Minn., being questioned by police officers hit the Web. What isn't seen but is heard clearly is the Taser being charged and then shot as the man is reportedly arrested for what appears to amount to sitting in a public space waiting for his kids to be let out from school and then refusing to give his name because, according to him, he "hadn't done anything wrong."
According to the cellphone video footage posted to Twin Cities Daily Planet, the man, who is filming the incident, tells a female officer, "Why do I have to let you know who I am? I don't have to let you know who I am if I haven't broken any laws."
According to the Raw Story, "Minnesota does not currently have a 'stop and identify' statute in place" that would give police the right to arrest someone for identifying himself.
The man then tells the officer that he was sitting in a public space when a store owner approached him and asked him to move. Confused by the request, since he wasn't doing anything except waiting to pick up his children from New Horizon Academy in downtown St. Paul, he left. Police appear to approach him as he is leaving. The man tells the female officer that he has a right to sit there, since there were no signs saying he couldn't do so.
The officer begins to explain the problem, but the man interrupts.
"The problem is I'm black," the man says. "It really is, because I'm not sitting there with a group of people. I'm sitting there by myself. By myself, not causing a problem."
A male officer arrives.
"I've got to go get my kids," the man says to both officers.
The male officer attempts to grab the man's arm. The man pulls away.
"Please don't touch me," he says.
"You're going to go to jail, then."
"I'm not doing anything wrong," the man replies.
Both officers grab the man.
"Come on, brother," the man says. "This is assault."
"I'm not your brother," the male officer replies. "Put your hands behind your back; otherwise it's going to get ugly."
A struggle ensues, the man drops his cellphone and the video is lost. The audio continues to record, and what can be heard is disturbing.
The man yells, "I haven't done anything wrong! Can somebody help me?! That's my kids, right there! My kids are right there!"
"Put your hands behind your back!" the male officer screams.
Noises from the Taser being charged can be heard, and then the man screams. He can be heard yelling for help.
The scene calms and the man can be heard still pleading his case: He claims that he didn't run from police, that he hadn't broken any laws and that he didn't need to be cuffed or tased.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I'm a working man. I take care of my kids. And I get this?" he says. "And you tase me. For what? I don't have any weapons. You're the ones with the weapons here."