St. Paul officer on leave cost city $250,000 in previous caseby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — One of the St. Paul police officers placed on administrative leave after the violent arrest of a man last week was a participant in an earlier excessive force case that cost the city $250,000.
Officer Matthew Gorans was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 30, a day after a YouTube video surfaced showing St. Paul resident Eric Hightower's arrest. Officer Jesse Zilge was also put on administrative leave after the incident. St. Paul police say they're conducting an internal investigation.
According to St. Paul Police Department documents, Gorans had also been suspended for three days in May 2012 after an internal investigation found he used excessive force in an arrest on Sept. 26, 2010.
In that incident, Gorans was one of the officers who pursued Anthony Clark near the Station 4 bar in St. Paul.
Clark's fiance had been questioned by police in the bar. Clark said he offered to escort her outside, but was pushed by police. Feeling threatened, Clark said he hid in a nearby alley. After he revealed himself to police, Clark said he was struck in the back of the head five or more times when he was on the ground.
Gorans told the internal affairs investigator he kneed or kicked Clark four or five times.
In a written reprimand in May, St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith wrote that "The multiple knee strikes to the head were unwarranted and therefore excessive." Smith also admonished Gorans for "lack of self-control."
Smith also warned Gorans that "further violations will lead to more severe discipline including up to termination."
The city of St. Paul approved a settlement in the case for $250,000 this April.
Police records also show that Zilge, the other officer who is on administrative leave, received an oral reprimand from the Western District commander in October 2009 for improper procedure. According to the documents, Zilge allowed a passenger with a suspended license to drive a car after the driver was cited.