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Duluth police investigate officer conduct in skywalk injury

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The Duluth Police Department has called a Friday morning press conference to share information about a skywalk incident that has raised concerns about the use of injurious force by one of its officers.

More than a dozen community leaders, including people of color, have already have been shown video of the event in question. One of those individuals was 4th District City Councilor Renee Van Nett, a Native American, who said police body camera video of the incident showed a couple of apparently inebriated men in a skywalk horsing around en route to a destination.

She said the two Native American men were approached by three police officers who asked them to leave. When they did not comply, one of the men appeared to go limp in protest. An officer proceeded to drag the man out of the skywalk and his head struck a door frame making a loud thump.

Van Nett said she was concerned by the video, especially given a history of minority people fearing rough police treatment, but added: “I appreciate the police and city administration wanting to get this out there so it could be considered fairly.”

The injured man received medical treatment following the incident and Van Nett said she has been told he suffered no protracted injury, but she added: “Proper procedures could have been followed better.”

“I wish it wouldn’t have happened,” Van Nett said.

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