Duluth Native Americans Demand Felony Charge Against Duluth Police Officer

By KBJR News 1

October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- Members of the Native American community are demanding that a felony charge be brought against a Duluth Police officer accused of assault.

Officer Richard Jouppi was charged with a misdemeanor after authorities released a video, showing the police officer striking a man in the face multiple times.

Now, members of the Unfair Campaign and the American Indian Commission are saying the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Strong words were spoken at the Duluth Civic Center Monday, saying it's an injustice to society if a police officer gets a leaner punishment than the rest of society.

"The great bodily harm that was inflicted upon this vulnerable adult justifies a felony level charge," said Ricky Defoe with the Duluth American Indian Commission.

The Duluth Police responded in a statement saying they work more closely with Native Americans today then any time in the department's history.