From Fox 9 News: On Tuesday, the felony assault charges leveled against Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Clifford were upgraded from third to first degree in connection with the knock-out punch that put a bar patron in Andover on life support.
Clifford was charged after throwing a punch at Tanner’s Station on June 16, hitting Brian Vander Lee during a dispute over a cell phone conversation. Vander Lee was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for bleeding on his brain.
The altercation was caught on surveillance video and shows Clifford approaching and punching Vander Lee in the face shortly thereafter.
Vander Lee was drunk, registering a .189 blood-alcohol concentration at the time and allegedly was causing a disturbance. Does the video footage back it up? I think not.
This cop never had to leave his chair. He should have left or asked staff at the restaurant to handle Vander Lee if he was causing a disturbance. Clifford has some major anger issues and needs to pay for what he did here.