Watch Shocking Arrest of Black Man Caught on Tape

Caroline Theuri October 20, 2016

A seven-minute video uploaded on YouTube shows a bystander recording a hostile interaction between an African-American man and a male Caucasian police officer in a residential neighborhood in Edina, one of Minnesota’s wealthiest suburbs.

Titled “Edina Police Incident 10/12/16,” the video was shot and uploaded on YouTube on the same day by a bystander anonymously called “Citizen 7101.” The video has since gone viral, eliciting varied reactions.

The bystander was later identified by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper as Janet Rowles. In an interview with the newspaper, Rowles said that she filmed the video as she was driving on Xerxes Avenue and 60th Street of Edina because she thought the 34-year-old African-American man, Larnie B. Thomas, was being unfairly apprehended by plainclothes officer Lt. T.F. Olson.

In the video, when Thomas asks Olson why he’s being stopped, the officer tells him it’s because “you’re walking down the middle of the street.”

A confrontation ensues between the two, resulting in a handcuffed Thomas being driven in an unmarked police squad car.

At the Edina Police Department, Thomas was charged with disorderly conduct and pedestrian failure to obey a traffic signal. He was then released.

Two days after Thomas’ arrest, the Department released a Facebook statement on October 14th justifying his charges in the midst of the controversy elicited by Rowles’ video:

A video of one of our police officers is circulating online. This incident started several minutes prior to the recording. During that time, our police officer observed a man walking southbound on Xerxes Avenue at West 60th Street in the southbound lane of traffic, though there is a sidewalk on the east side and a sidewalk under construction and a paved shoulder on the west side of the street.

Recognizing the risk to the safety of the public, the officer pulled in behind the man with his lights and an audible signal in an attempt to advise him to get out of the roadway. The man, who was wearing headphones, turned and looked at the officer and continued walking in the lane of traffic. The officer then drove in front of the man by approximately 15 feet, to block him from continuing in the southbound lane of traffic.

The Department then clarified that Olson arrested Thomas because he resisted arrest and was inebriated:

The man deliberately went around the squad car and continued to walk in the lane of traffic. The officer got out of his vehicle and started to follow the man, asking him to get out of the lane of traffic and stop. The man did not stop and was defiant. It was after that point that the recording began. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath during the incident. A breathalyzer later confirmed the presence of alcohol.

But in her video caption, Rowles disagrees with the charges, writing:

I witnessed and videoed this earlier today. I passed by a man who was walking on the white line of the shoulder of the street. There was construction, and it was obvious that the sidewalk was not available right there so he was hugging the right side as far as he could go. I went around him and noticed in my rearview mirror that an unmarked SUV turned on police lights. The officer pulled in front of the pedestrian to cut him off and proceeded to accuse him of walking in the middle of the street.

Rowles believes Thomas was unjustly arrested, “He didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong while walking along the road,” she told the Minneapolis Tribune, adding, “I worry about these relationships that [the police are] destroying. It calls for extra patience.”

At press time, the video has had more than 702,000 views, with a variety of comments:

“He wasn’t arrested for walking on the street he was arrested for resisting arrest. If he just reacted like a normal person and didn’t get so aggressive it wouldn’t have resulted in an arrest,” comments Troy on YouTube.


While Carlos Williamson replies:

“Troy That’s absurd. He was clearly being harassed by the police officer. He was going to be arrested regardless.”

This incident is the latest public case of a videotaped African American being arrested by the police. According to, the police killed 230 Black people this year. Last year, the police killed 102 unarmed Black people. The report further notes that in 2015, unarmed Black people were killed by the police at five times the rate of White unarmed people.

Image result for Mapping Police Violence

Police are rarely convicted for the killings.

“Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015, where an unarmed Black person was killed by police, resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only two of these deaths resulted in convictions of officers involved,” notes the report.

These statistics imply that there is a divide in American race relations. The worst case scenario was the retaliatory July 2016 shootings in Dallas, Texas, where a Black sniper shot five police officers during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest against law enforcement brutality against innocent African Americans.

During the memorial of the shootings, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a press release, acknowledged that racism exists in U.S. police departments.

Last Edited by:Charles Gichane Updated: October 20, 2016


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