A Minnesota police officer was dragged 40 yards during a recent traffic stop, and a state law enforcement organization is upset that the suspect isn't facing harsher charges.
The incident happened Nov. 13 when Maple Grove police pulled over a vehicle for traffic violations, WCCO-TV reports. During the stop, an officer discovered the driver's license had been suspended, and he saw what appeared to be an empty alcohol container on the vehicle's floor.
The driver exited the car at the officer's request and took a breathalyzer test. When the officer tried to conduct a search of the man, the driver ran back to his vehicle.
Backup for the officer arrived as the driver began to flee. One officer was sent to the pavement, and another officer was dragged roughly 40 yards as the driver sped away.
The suspect was eventually apprehended by authorities. He was charged with obstruction and fleeing a police—both felonies—but the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association doesn't think those counts are sufficient.
"That video could have ended so differently," said Imran Ali, the group's general counsel. "And it should give everyone a pause, really. And then we don't have any felony assault, no felony assault charge for the perpetrator that committed this act, this intentional act."
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty, however, disagrees with that assessment. Her officer claims there isn't evidence to show that the suspect intentionally tried to drag the officer.
"We need evidence to support charges and prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt," the county attorney's office stated. "Unfortunately, we are unable to rely on false characterizations of the facts by individuals from interest groups who don't have access to all the evidence in this case."
But Ali believes the suspect's actions provide all the evidence needed.
"When an officer's arm is in the door and is trapped … and the intent of this individual, the defendant, is to flee, each foot that goes by is intent for some injury. We have 40 yards," he said.
The officer who was dragged suffered a shoulder injury and was off duty for two weeks. The other officer in the incident suffered minor injuries.