A correctional officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota is resigning after he pleaded guilty in the case where he was accused of beating of an inmate, but he’s leaving with almost $10,000 in vacation and sick time, according to WCCO.
The fallout stems from an incident on April 13, 2016, that was caught on tape. Ramsey County correctional officers were bringing in Terrell Johnson. The new inmate laid in the back of the cruiser, complaining about having trouble breathing.
“Please let me breathe,” he said on tape. He gradually stood, but fell, his pants at his ankles. Deputes dragged him up and put him in a transport chair with a white spit guard. He was told to sit back as deputies restrained him. Then one of the law enforcement officers, identified as Travis VanDeWiele, began to knee him. Johnson called the deputy a “bitch-ass pig,” and VanDeWiele shoved his face back.
The inmate told officials they were using excessive force.
“You ain’t seen excessive force yet,” said VanDeWiele, who later punched Johnson repeated in the torso. Deputies shoved the inmate’s head to his knees as they finished restraining him.
VanDeWiele was charged with two counts of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault, but pleaded down to disorderly conduct. He won’t serve jail time and was ordered to pay a $150 fine. The deputy is scheduled to resign on Thursday after two years on administrative leave. He collected over $121,555, according to the Pioneer Press.
VanDeWiele reached an agreement to resign after he began appealing under the state’s Veterans’ Preference Act. The exact amount of vacation and sick time he’ll get is $9,630. Local reports highlighted the racial tension at play here, as VanDeWiele is white and Johnson is black.
Travis VanDeWiele, who submitted his resignation to the Ramsey County sheriff’s office last week, also is out another job. He was listed as co-head wrestling coach at East Ridge High School in Woodbury as of Monday, but he resigned Tuesday.
— Mara Gottfried (@MaraGottfried) February 26, 2019
[Screengrab via Pioneer Press]