Minneapolis: Cop Caught on Video Telling Black Teen ‘If You Fuck with Me, I’m Going to Break Your Legs’

A recently released report details the racial arrest patterns in Minneapolis and concludes that African Americans are more likely than white people to be arrested for low-level offenses. Here is just one example of police racism.

MinneapolisPolice053015

Editor’s Note: This video is excerpted from the ACLU report on the study they did on police discrimination and violence in Minneapolis, especially against African Americans and Native Americans.

“Can you tell me why I’m being arrested?” Hamza Jeylani asks an officer in a video captured on his cell phone.

“Because I feel like arresting you,” the officer, who the American Civil Liberties Union identifies as Officer Rod Webber, replies in the short video.


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This exchange happens after Webber calmly threatens Jeylani, who does not appear to be offering any resistance whatsoever. “Plain and simple,” Webber tells Jeylani, “if you fuck with me I’m going to break your legs before you even get a chance to run.”

According to the ACLU, Jeylani and four of his friends — all of whom are black teenagers — were pulled over after making a U-turn in a parking lot in South Minneapolis. The four young men had been playing basketball at a YMCA. Despite Officer Webber’s statement that Jeylani was arrested because the cop felt like arresting him, the police claim that they suspected the four youth of stealing the car they were driving.Jeylani, however, says that the driver of the car had documents showing that he owned the car. And the ACLU adds that “police said the stolen car they were after was a blue Honda Civic. The teenagers, however, were driving a blue Toyota Camry.”

The video of Jeylani’s arrest was released alongside a report detailing racial arrest patterns in Minneapolis. It concludes that African Americans in Minneapolis “are 8.7 times more likely than white people to be arrested for low-level offenses, like trespassing, disorderly conduct, consuming in public, and lurking.” Meanwhile, Native Americans are “8.6 times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than white people.”

Bio: Ian Millhiser is a Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Kenyon College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University. Ian clerked for Judge Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and has worked as an attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center’s Federal Rights Project, as Assistant Director for Communications with the American Constitution Society, and as a Teach For America teacher in the Mississippi Delta. His writings have appeared in a diversity of legal and mainstream publications, including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, Slate, the Guardian, the American Prospect, the Yale Law and Policy Review and the Duke Law Journal; and he has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English, Fox News and many radio shows.

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