St. Paul, MN — Dashcam video of a senselessly violent assault by a cop on a 21-year-old Laotian American has just been released and is the subject of an ACLU report this week. The video shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak stop Anthony Promvongsa in Worthington, Minnesota and immediately begin a violent attack.
The beating was captured on another officer's dashcam who is caught disabling the audio to cover up Joswiak's insanely violent fury.
According to police, Promvongsa was driving erratically for several city blocks sticking his head out of the window and yelling at Joswiak. Joswiak claims Promvongsa was swerving toward him repeatedly while making threatening remarks and unidentified hand signals.
None of this was captured on any of the dashcam footage involved in this case.
Joswiak claims he turned on his lights to make the stop and that Promvongsa refused to stop. However, from the dashcam, the young man appears to be driving quite safely and pulls over when he sees the actual patrol car with his lights on.
"Get the fuck out of the car, motherfucker. Show me your hands," Joswiak screams as he immediately begins assaulting Promvongsa before he could even take off his seat belt. As he lays into the young man with knees, fists, and elbows — as if he's in some UFC fight — the officer on the other side of the car is seen inexplicably turning off the audio recording.
Now, this entire incident is a case of the cop's word against a 21-year-old who was beaten nearly to death on film.
One of the parties involved in this case is lying. However, only one of the parties in this case was captured on video violently attacking a barefoot young man half his size while another officer attempted to cover it up.
As City Pages reports, Promvongsa is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon (his car), one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, possessing a small amount of marijuana, and driving with a revoked driver's license. He has pleaded not guilty.
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"[Promvongsa's] obviously plead not guilty and we intend to try it. He maintains his innocence," Promvongsa's attorney Ginny Barron says. "What I can say is while I believe there are definitely a number of honorable police officers in the community who are highly respected, we are seeing increasing, systemic problems of excessive force in the Worthington Police Department, Nobles County Sheriff's Office, and Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force that we don't believe should ever be allowed or tolerated in a civilized society."
"Promvongsa was not given proper time to obey the officer’s orders before excessive force was used against him," said Teresa Nelson, executive director of the ACLU, in a statement.
“Agent Joswiak’s use of force against Anthony Promvongsa is disturbing and completely unnecessary. We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution."
Agent Joswiak has not been disciplined at all for the violent attack caught on video.
"I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer,” Promvongsa said in a statement. “I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack. I immediately pulled over for the Worthington squad car and before I knew what was happening I was beat and ripped from my vehicle. I know I am not the first person to have this type of traumatic experience with law enforcement in Worthington. This type of violence with community members has to stop. This encounter was demoralizing and has left me scared of future interactions with the police.”
Watch the videos below, does it look like a case of necessary force from a cop protecting society? Or, does it look like a case of road rage — backed by a gun and a badge? You decide.
Full video below: