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Police not charged in YouTube arrest

Nov. 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Two St. Paul, Minn., police officers will not be charged with felony assault for force used while arresting a man, district attorney's said.

The Olmsted County, Minn., Attorney's Office Thursday declined to charge officers Jesse Zilge and Matthew Gorans, saying there is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt they used unreasonable force to subdue Eric R. Hightower while arresting him in August.

The arrest, in which Hightower was allegedly kicked and sprayed with a chemical irritant by the officers, was captured on video by a bystanders and seen on the Internet website YouTube, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Thursday.

"Minnesota law authorizes law enforcement officers to use reasonable force when attempting to arrest a person," a statement by County Attorney Mark Ostrem said. "Officer Zilge had probable causer to arrest Hightower for making threats to kill his ex-girlfriend."

Hightower was charged with aggravated stalking, terroristic threats and property damage for allegedly breaking a window, the newspaper reported

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