Police brutality investigation

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 9:43am

Police release video in controversial arrest of man last year.

Newly released police video shows the controversial arrest of a Minnesota man last year.

Bystanders took footage of the August 2012 arrest of Eric Hightower and posted it on Youtube shortly afterwards.

Now Saint Paul Police have released squad car video of the incident.

It is the kind of bystander video that police hate. An officer, in this case Jesse Zilge of Saint Paul, is seen kicking a man who is lying on the ground.

"You see that?!

Potentially millions on Youtube saw that and the scene moments later when Zilge and Officer Matthew Goran slammed 31 year old Eric Hightower onto the hood of Zilge's squad car.

But it is this video from inside the car that was released today.

It shows Hightower demanding to know why he was being arrested.

"What am I being arrested for? I haven't done anything wrong!"

Then, as Hightower seemed reluctant to get into the car, officer Goran goes around to the other side and pulls Hightower into the back seat, first by his shirt, then by his hair.

Goran appears to pepper spray the handcuffed hightower.

"Ah! He's spraying me in my ear! Ah, Sir! My ear! My ear! My eye! Please!"

Hightower continues to protest for several minutes during the drive to the jail.

Sir! My eye! My eye! My eye! My eye! My eye!

Prosecutors from the Olmstead County Sheriff's Department saw this tape and several from other police cars and decided that no charges should be placed against either officer.

Saint Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith saw it differently. Reportedly, he tried to fire Goran and suspend Zilge for 30 days.

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