2014 Minnesota Vikings: Tom Johnson’s Agent Releases Statement, Video Alleging Police Misconduct
Tom Johnson, recently arrested for trespassing/refusal to depart and disorderly conduct after the police used pepper spray and a stun gun on him, has video of the incident that his agent released, along with a statement.
That video was originally hosted at that Star Tribune piece. The statement released by his agency argues that Johnson was not intoxicated and was waiting for the valet to deliver a vehicle to him. Off-duty cops (who were working there) yelled at him to leave the lobby of Seven steakhouse, per International Sports Agency, and pepper-sprayed Johnson as he was leaving—who was asking why he was being asked to leave (again, as he was waiting for his car, per ISA).
The manager at Seven didn’t think Johnson was impaired. The police report indicates that Johnson refused to leave after the restaurant closed, which does not necessarily coincide with Johnson’s statement that he was the only one asked to leave.
After that, he called a car service to pick him up because his vision was impaired. After the call, the officer who pepper-sprayed him came out of the club. Johnson video-taped the officer, who knocked the phone out of his hand (as seen in the video above). The statement said that as Johnson reached for his phone, the cops tasered him.
The statement said the “battery committed against Mr. Johnson by the off-duty police officers is a clear violation of Mr. Johnson’s rights. We are continuing to investigate and will move forward with the proper legal actions once that process has concluded. We are confident that once the facts of the case are revealed Mr. Johnson will be fully exonerated.”
Minnesota has no statute regarding when one must show identification to police officers, but the legal interpretation has been that one need not provide ID in the state of Minnesota when requested unless the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are doing something illegal. As for recording police officers (even off-duty officers), that’s protected by the Supreme Court unless in the process one obstructs justice.
Head coach Mike Zimmer has said that it shouldn’t impact Johnson’s availability for Sunday’s game against Detroit.