Target: Paul Biermaier, Crookston Chief of Police
Goal: Reprimand officer accused of using excessive force and fracturing man’s ribs.
A man had to be taken to the hospital after police allegedly sprayed him with mace, kicked him, kneed him in the ribs, and stomped on his hands, leaving the victim with fractured ribs, among other injuries. The victim, Jon Stronstad, was reportedly stopped by an officer who accused him of being under the influence. The victim claims that he was never even asked if he’d been drinking. Stronstad says that although he’d had a couple of beers at a bar, he hadn’t drank anything but water for two hours prior to getting in the vehicle. According to court documents, no tests were given to Stronstad to determine whether he had been driving under the influence when the officer conducted the traffic stop, yet he was still booked into jail after being treated at the hospital.
When asked why he was being pulled over, Officer Andrew Goodman vaguely replied “for suspicious behavior.” He tried getting his wallet to present his ID as requested but the officer reportedly grabbed him by the arm and said he was being detained. Then, the victim says Officer Goodman kicked his knees out from under him. Other officers arrived, threatening to taser Stronstad as his mother pleaded with them, telling them that her son has a pacemaker and begging them to “please stop hurting” her son. Instead, Officer Goodman sprayed mace into the victim’s face, which Stronstad says got in his mouth and he began spitting it out. According to the police, spit landed on one of the officer’s legs, so they further humiliated the victim by putting a spit mask on him.
Stronstad’s parents were forced to watch the terrifying scene unfold in front of their own home. The Stronstad family said that they’ve always gotten along well with law enforcement, but now they feel threatened and scared. If the officer didn’t even bother to conduct tests to show whether the victim was under the influence, it seems he had no reason to harass and brutalize this young man. Despite the issue of police brutality, the victim could face up to three years in prison and a $6,000 fine, if convicted of the charges.
Not only is the victim at risk of doing time in prison, but it’s likely that the officer accused of using excessive force won’t face any punishment. That’s why it is up to us to take action so that victims of police brutality get the justice they deserve. Please add your signature to the petition below to demand that Officer Goodman be held accountable for any wrongdoing, including failing to conduct tests to determine whether the suspect was driving under the influence and using excessive force.
Dear Chief Biermaier,
A man who has a pace maker was left with injuries, including fractured ribs, after police reportedly stopped him and proceeded to knee him in the ribs, kick him, stomp on his hands, and spray him with mace. According to court documents, the officer who made the traffic stop didn’t even bother to conduct tests to confirm whether or not he was under the influence while driving. It appears the victim did nothing to warrant the brutal assault that his parents were forced to watch unfold in their own yard. At one point, officers threatened to taser the victim, while his mother, who was pleading with them to stop hurting her son, told them he had a pacemaker.
It seems the officer had no reason to use such excessive force and doing so left a man with serious injuries. We demand that this officer be held accountable and punished if guilty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob “Doc” Wilson