Minn. Officer Pepper-Sprays Man In Ear



Police Mag

St. Paul (Minn.) Police officer has been fired for using pepper spray in the ear of a suspect who resisted arrest after allegedly threatening an ex-girlfriend.

Officer Matthew Gorans has been fired and Officer Jesse Zilge suspended for 30 days for the Aug. 28, 2012, arrest of Eric Hightower. A bystander had recorded video of Officer Zilge kicking Hightower andposted it to YouTube the day after the arrest.

Gorans is appealing Chief Thomas Smith’s decision to fire him through the union grievance process and remains listed as an agency employee, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The agency has reluctantly released patrol car video of the later part of the arrest showing officers attempting to get Hightower into Officer Zilge’s cruiser. Hightower can be seen resisting and yelling that he has done nothing wrong.

In the video, Officer Gorans circles around to the other side of the cruiser and can be seen pulling Hightower’s hair to get him into the back of the vehicle. He attempts to turn Hightower’s face and appears to spray him in the ear. Hightower then reacts by screaming, “He sprayed me in my ear. Ahhhh! Ahhhh, sir! My ear, my eye! Please!”

Greg Meyer, a use of force expert and retired LAPD captain, told PoliceMag.com the intensity of Hightower’s struggle seen on video makes a good case for a brief TASER drive-stun to the thigh of someone whi is strenuously resisting being put into a patrol car.

“I’ve been advocating greatly reduced use of the TASER drive-stun, but this situation would be an exception,” Meyer said. “Using a TASER drive-stun for a second or two on the thigh of a seriously resisting subject refusing to climb into the back of a police car would be a legitimate drive-stun use, after the officer gives the suspect an appropriate warning and perhaps a spark display to attempt to persuade the suspect to cooperate.”

Meyer said he was more concerned with Officer Zilge’s kick, which needs more explanation.

The county attorney’s review of the case found “insufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that either Zilge or Gorans “used unreasonable force during the arrest of Hightower.”

http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/news/2013/07/10/video-minn-officer-pepper-sprays-man-in-ear.aspx

4 thoughts on “Minn. Officer Pepper-Sprays Man In Ear

  1. “The county attorney’s review of the case found ‘insufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt’ that either Zilge or Gorans ‘used unreasonable force during the arrest of Hightower.’”

    The reviewing Ramsey County attorney also needs to be fired. Reasonable force is not kicking a man in the chest or neck when he is already disabled and on the ground from tazing and macing, which took place before the struggle to get the big crazy man in the cop car.

  2. “I’ve been advocating greatly reduced use of the TASER drive-stun, but this situation would be an exception,” Meyer said. “Using a TASER drive-stun for a second or two on the thigh of a seriously resisting subject refusing to climb into the back of a police car would be a legitimate drive-stun use, after the officer gives the suspect an appropriate warning and perhaps a spark display to attempt to persuade the suspect to cooperate.”

    F**K YOU, GREG! The only time you need to use a taser is if the guy is physically assaulting you NOT if he doesn’t want to get in a car. That’s why you go to police academy to learn how to restrain someone. I guess they only teach people how to point and shoot these days since it makes your job so much easier and you can get away with it. Since you are probably eating donuts all day, I can see how you have gotten so lazy that you just decided to say, “Screw it. Everyone just use your taser next time.”

    1. Yes NC maybe people Use your tazers, but I would reccomend getting some of that Pepper Spray That They Use For Bears. Lets see how the cops like it if we all used it on them. Pepper spray them. If it will stop a bear it will stop a cop, and it will spray 20 ft. Yep pepper spray them dirty cops and see how they like it and how ready they are going to arrest you.

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