Duluth Police Officer accused of assault and disorderly conduct takes stand in own defense

By KBJR News 1

Duluth Police Officer accused of assault and disorderly conduct takes stand in own defense

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM CDT

Pine City, MN(NNCNOW.com) --- Officer Richard Jouppi who is accused of assaulting a man in a wheelchair at a detox center, took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

Officer Richard Jouppi testified that he felt, in his heart and in his mind, that he did the right thing.

Testimony revolved around the amount of force Officer Jouppi used against Anthony Jackson, who, in a video taken at the detox center, appears to punch the officer.

Jouppi said after his first swing, the threat was not controlled, as Jackson was still flailing his arms.

Jouppi said he didn't know Jackson's intent as his arms were still in a position to strike.

Jouppi said at no point did he think that Jackson was not a threat to him, as he had already demonstrated he had no problem assaulting an officer.

Jouppi told the court that in the face of danger all he could think about was that he had to be able to go home to his family.

Jouppi said after thinking about the incident over the last year he still believes he acted with reasonable use of force.

Testifying as the last witness for the prosecution, Lieutenant Robert Shene said he felt Jouppis's use of force was reasonable to a point.

However, he added the fourth and fifth punches appeared to be excessive and he felt there was no need to dump Jackson out of the wheelchair.

Defending attorney Fred Bruno said there is clear dispute over how much force was needed under the circumstances and made a motion to have the charges dropped but Judge John DeSanto denied the motion.

The trial is expected to continue Friday with one more witness for the defense who is expected to be an expert in use of excessive force.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati