Mpls. Park Police apologize to libertarian candidate

MINNEAPOLIS - Lake Calhoun was the perfect place for Libertarian Chris Holbrook to drum up the 2,000 signatures he needed to get on the ballot this fall to run for governor.

He was about to do that on Thursday afternoon when he and a few others, also there to petition for signatures, were stopped by Minneapolis Park Police.

"They said we couldn't do that. We know our rights, and we know we can do that there," Holbrook said. "We asked them what law we were breaking."

From the moment the questions began from police, Holbrook and his friends started filming the exchange on their phones.

Holbrook and his friends were asked for identification from police. They refused, which is their right, and kept filming.

"We film to protect ourselves, have documentation and it's our right," Holbrook said.

After those refusals and officers wrongly assuming Holbrook and his crew were breaking an ordinance outlawing solicitation for financial gain or marketing, Holbrook says he was brutally handcuffed.

"Up against the car, he puts on the cuffs on my right hand, which is so tight, its excruciating pain and I'm screaming you guys are breaking my wrist," Holbrook explained.

He was ticketed for the alleged offense, but on Friday, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto announced his officers were wrong in the arrest.

"That is not the financial gain part of the ordinance.That's protected speech and that is legitimate.The officer made a mistake," Ohotto said.

The ticket was dismissed and the officers are now under investigation by internal affairs.

Ohotto called Holbrook Thursday night and apologized but Holbrook isn't completely satisfied.

"The part that makes me most angry is that they don't know the law.The police officer doesn't know his own law," Holbrook said.

Holbrook said he sought medical attention from his own doctor for his injured wrist. He said he suffered some trauma to nerves in his right hand but a full recovery is expected. He said he isn't sure if he will take legal action in this matter.

Holbrook has until June 3 to gather the 2,000 signatures needed to get his name on the ballot for governor.


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