Video footage that was recently released depicts Frank Baker’s disturbing June 24, 2016 encounter with St. Paul Police officers. In the video, Baker is viciously attacked by St. Paul Police officer Ficcadenti’s police K9 and kicked three times in the ribs by officer Palkowitsch, while he was trying to comply with the officers’ orders. Baker sustained serious injuries and spent 14 days in the hospital as a result. He underwent skin grafts and other surgical procedures on his leg that was ripped apart by the K9. Further, Baker suffered broken ribs and collapsed lungs as a result of the kicks.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell released squad video of the incident and issued an apology to Baker. During his press conference, Chief Axtell declared the video “is not the Saint Paul way” and described why he was releasing the video, noting, in part:
“As St. Paul’s police chief, I’m disappointed and upset by what the video shows. As a person who deeply cares about this community and our department, I’m profoundly saddened…I am releasing this video today because it’s the right thing to do. Our community has a right to know what’s happening with their police department. For me, it’s about transparency. It’s about honoring the trust that our public has in its department, its officers and myself.”
Despite Chief Axtell’s words, the Union alleges the officers’ conduct was proper. This is belied by Ficcadenti’s acceptance of his discipline in which he admitted to the factual basis for the discipline. Click HERE to view the Settlement Letter that details the factual basis for Ficcadenti’s 30 day suspension and the numerous policy violations he committed during his encounter with Baker. Meanwhile, Palkowitsch was been placed on unpaid leave.
Baker’s story quickly gained media attention and has been widely reported in many news outlets including the New York Times and many others due to the video evidence depicting the violent encounter. More coverage of the incident and Chief Axtell’s apology can be found on the individual media websites (visit: the New York Times, StarTribune, Kare11, Fox 9, MPR, KSTP and WCCO). The video itself can be viewed HERE.