Group Criticizes Duluth PD After Alleged Officer Assault
Posted at: 10/08/2012 4:00 PM
| Updated at: 10/08/2012 10:32 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
A group of Native Americans, and other supporters, rallied outside City Hall in Duluth to protest an alleged officer assault. The rally started with several Native American traditions, and was followed by several speeches criticizing the Duluth Police Department.
The protest came after Officer Richard Jouppi was accused of assaulting a Native American man in a wheelchair at the Duluth Detox Center last month. Jouppi faces two misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and fifth degree assault, but people at the rally believed Jouppi deserves a harsher punishment.
"We demand justice," Spiritual Leader Skip Sandman said. "We demand policy changes. Fifth degree assault, is that one punch? Or is it five punches? When does it up?"
Jouppi is still on administrative leave. The Duluth Police Department said they work very closely with area Native American people and meet with groups on a regular basis.
"The Duluth Police Department respects the right to peaceful protest," Public Information Officer Jim Hansen said. "We ask that the community have patience during the court process on the formal charges against one of our officers and the internal investigation."