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Worthington mayor issues response to police violence in video

WORTHINGTON -- Days after the American Civil Liberties Union released a video showing Worthington Police Department/Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force officer Joe Joswiak assaulting an individual during a traffic stop, Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle has...

WORTHINGTON - Days after the American Civil Liberties Union released a video showing Worthington Police Department/Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force officer Joe Joswiak assaulting an individual during a traffic stop, Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle has issued a statement.

On Monday afternoon, Kuhle delivered a letter to The Globe stating, “As a result of recent public sentiment, and to maintain transparency, the Worthington Police Department, in cooperation with the Nobles County Attorney’s Office and the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force, will refer to an outside agency to ensure impartial review of all aspects of the questioned police procedure associated with the (Anthony) Promvongsa incident.”

Kuhle has been inundated with calls and text messages since the video’s release, with at least one individual posting Kuhle’s name and personal cell phone number on social media over the weekend, urging people to contact him.

“There’s been much sentiment from Georgia to California,” Kuhle said. “I don’t take much stock in those sentiments; I’m only concerned with the citizens of Worthington.”

He asked for the citizens of Worthington to be patient and “let all of the aspects play out in full” in the case, saying local law enforcement has put a lot of work into building relationships and gaining trust in the community.

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“What I’ve witnessed in the last three years is the police department has done a phenomenal job to develop relationships with the community and gain the trust with all citizens in Worthington and the surrounding area,” Kuhle said. “Officers and leadership in the police department have spent countless hours on and off duty in the community. Whether it is to stop and play a pickup game of basketball with the youth in our community or attending and engaging at meetings with the various groups that represent our cultures, I am very proud of our police officers for the work they have done.”

“That can’t be lost in this whole situation,” he added.

The video release by the ACLU attracted the attention of leaders across the state, with Kuhle getting phone calls from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minnesota’s First Congressional District Rep. Tim Walz late last week.

Related Topics: CRIME
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