St. Paul police officer convicted of civil rights violation

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, November 28, 2019

ST. PAUL — A jury has found a St. Paul police officer guilty of a civil rights violation for kicking and severely injuring an innocent man mistaken for armed suspect.

The federal jury in St. Paul convicted Officer Brett Palkowitsch in the attack and mauling of Frank Baker, an unarmed 52-year-old black man.

Palkowitsch kicked Baker in the abdomen while a police dog was mauling the man in June 2016.

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Prosecutors said Palkowitsch’s use of force against Baker was excessive, fracturing his ribs and puncturing a lung.

The city previously settled a lawsuit with Baker for $2 million. He had been fired, but an arbitrator ruled in 2017 that he should be reinstated. He’s been on paid administrative leave since.