Arbitrator: St. Paul officer should be reinstatedPublished 9:53am Tuesday, February 4, 2014
ST. PAUL — A St. Paul police officer did not use excessive force and should be reinstated after he was fired following his role in a videotaped arrest.
That’s according to an arbitrator’s ruling Monday.
The YouTube video shows St. Paul police Officer Jesse Zilge kicking Eric Hightower once in the chest while trying to arrest Hightower in August 2012. Another officer, Matthews Gorans, sprayed Mace into Hightower’s face and right ear to help get him into a squad car.
The St. Paul Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission found that Gorans intentionally sprayed pepper spray into Hightower’s ear, but state arbitrator Harley Ogata disagreed. He also found Gorans justified in pulling Hightower into a squad car by his hair as the man resisted officers.