Duluth Police Union Drops Grievance, Jouppi Terminated

Updated: 06/20/2014 6:12 PM
Created: 06/20/2014 5:45 PM

The officer seen pulling a man from a wheelchair in a now-infamous surveillance video is officially no longer part of the Duluth Police Department.

The department said Friday that the Duluth Police Union Local 807 has dropped its opposition to the department's efforts to terminate Officer Richard Jouppi.  A Pine County jury cleared Jouppi of any criminal wrongdoing connected to the September 21, 2012 incident at a detox facility in Duluth, but Chief Gordon Ramsay said Jouppi's actions were not consistent with department training or policy.

The incident happened after Jouppi and another officer had brought Anthony Jackson to detox.  Surveillance video shows Jackson hitting Jouppi near the eye with an open hand. In response, Jouppi swings five times at Jackson's head before pulling Jackson out of the wheelchair to handcuff him.

In a statement Friday, Chief Ramsay said, "Richard Jouppi’s actions were not consistent with department training or policy; bringing discredit to our department and detracting from the excellent work our police officers do on a daily basis. Ultimately he was afforded his due process and this is a fair and just outcome.  Myself and members of the  Duluth Police Department believe community relationships are of the utmost importance and we are dedicated to working closely with our community members to continue to build, trust, respect and support."

Assistant City Attorney Steven B. Hanke said that there are no settlement agreements between the city and Jouppi or severance payments.  Hanke also said the city was unable to release details of the union's grievance.

The city initiated Jouppi's termination on Oct. 15, 2012.  The termination notice cited four alleged breaches and violations regarding Jouppi's interaction with Jackson and his handling of evidence.


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