St. Paul man from cellphone arrest video identified; police dropped charges in July

(Photo courtesy of Christopher Lollie) Chris Lollie and his two-year old son, C.J.

UPDATED:

The man in a recently released cellphone video who was tasered and arrested by St. Paul police officers after refusing to give up his name has stepped forward on Wednesday, Aug. 27 after posting the video online. St. Paul police dropped charges on July 31.

Christopher Lollie, 28, said he was waiting to pick up his two year-old and four year-old children from New Horizon Academy’s daycare around 9:43 a.m. on Jan. 31, when a security guard from the First National Bank building asked him to leave the area where he was sitting. The guard then called the St. Paul Police Department when Lollie refused to do so, he said.

According to the police report, St. Paul police officers Michael Johnson and Bruce Schmidt “were called to the First National Bank Building on a report of uncooperative male refusing to leave.” The third female officer in the video has been identified as Lori Hayne, and has since retired, reports the Pioneer Press. The name of the security guard that Lollie claims made the call was omitted from the police report “due to safety concerns.” Lollie was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.

The St. Paul Police Department did not return our calls in time for this report, but released this statement:

"As is often the case, the video does not show the totality of the circumstances.

Our officers were called by private security guards on a man who was trespassing in a private area. The guards reported that the man had on repeated occasions refused to leave a private "employees only" area in the First National Bank Building.

With no information on who the man was, what he might be doing or why he refused to leave the area, responding Saint Paul police officers tried to talk to him, asking him who he was. He refused to tell them or cooperate.

Our officers are called upon and required to respond to calls for assistance and to investigate the calls. At one point, the officers believed he might either run or fight with them. It was then that officers took steps to take him into custody. He pulled away and resisted officers' lawful orders. They then used the force necessary to safely take him into custody.

The man was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process. Those charges were dismissed in July."

“Why do I have to let you know who I am?” Lollie asks officer Hayne in the video. “I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws.”

Soon, two more officers show up and restrain Lollie as he continues to explain he’s done nothing wrong. The following struggle results in Lollie being tasered and arrested.

Minnesota does not currently have a 'stop and identify' statute in place that would give police the right to arrest someone for not identifying himself.

By the time the police arrived, Lollie said he had already left the spot to go meet his kids by the daycare and expected the officers to disregard the call, since he believed the areas to be public. “[What did happen] was the complete opposite of what I expected to happen,” Lollie said.

Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t provide identification, he said, since his wallet was stolen along with his I.D. earlier that month.

Lollie said that at the time of the incident he was working a temp job cleaning at Cossetta’s, just down the road from New Horizon. He and his girlfriend were separated then, he said, so she would drop their children off at the daycare in the morning and he’d pick them up when he got off of work.

His children had been attending New Horizon for about 9 months at that time, he said, so many people at the school already knew who he was. Luckily, he said, his children weren’t there to witness the incident since the children’s mother still hadn’t arrived. But Lollie’s children’s classmates and teacher all witnessed the event, he said.

“The teacher actually gave me a witness statement, stating that ‘he was calm, he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was talking to them, and they just started assaulting him,’” he said.

Since then, Lollie said he fought the charges and because of the teacher’s statement and the footage from the building’s security cameras, all charges against him were dropped as of July 31.

Lollie said he couldn't post the video until his confiscated phone was returned, but that he also didn’t want to post it because it hurt to watch.

“It hurts, it really does,” he said. “Because no matter what — I could be the nicest guy in the world, talk with respect, I can be working, taking care of my kids, doing everything a model citizen is supposed to do — and still I get that type of treatment.”

Currently, Lollie said he’s taking his case to internal affairs and hopes to bring the officers who assaulted him to justice.

“[Posting the video] makes me feel empowered,” he said.

Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of police misconduct issues.


Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

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  • How about the officer comes up to him and says, "excuse me, sir, this is a restricted area. would you please mind going to a public area?" He says, "oh sorry, I didn't realize that was restricted. I'll move right away". The officer then says, "thanks, sir. have a good day". He says, "thank you officer, you too. Bye." The police are civil servants. They need to learn what it means to be civil. Give a citizen, no matter his color, the benefit of the doubt until he gives you reason to do otherwise, and initially be polite and act within the limits of the law! Perhaps if they do this more often, the citizens will act in kind. - by Michael Rostance on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:26pm
  • Those officers need to go to jail. There's no excuse for that kind of assault on a peaceful citizen. - by Ken Smith on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 4:29pm
  • Wow. I am so sorry for this incident. Look at all this private information that has been blasted into the internet world. Mr. Lollie has been unwillingly put into a position where his personal and professional life are on stage. That is defamation of character at a minimum. What really gets me is how the officer's name has been withheld for "safety" reasons. WTF? Safety??? Realllly??? What about Mr. Lollie and his safety - - a taser is no small shock to the system. What about the safety of his children and the well being of his citizenship in the United States of America. That has been shattered. Mr. Lollie, I would bring it. We need you now to stand up an fight for a better life for us all. I am ashamed that my tax dollars pay these officers salaries and pensions. - by Jeff Towle on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:17pm
  • The behavior of the police in this case is despicable. Threatening a man with jail for no reason? I'd like to see him do that with a white guy. If this isn't racially-motivated bad police behavior, I don't know what is. If Lollie hadn't recorded this he'd be in jail, his kids would be in protective custody, and the police would be smirking. - by Steve Mayer on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 4:59pm
  • He needs to sue the police department for every dime he can get. And those officers should be tried individually for assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. - by David Combs on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 4:54pm
  • Please please follow through and bring suit against these officers! They are not above the law and need to be punished as anyone else would who assults people - by Nikki Smith on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 6:06pm
  • I think I need to change my news source. I am so happy to not see a so many hate filled, negative racist comments like I see on Fox 9. It's like they are spreading hate. I'm impressed - by Lavenia Pitts on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 7:25pm
  • The American Police as an institution has backward evolved into organized, militarized gangs of cowardly thugs- their criminality and brutality have become an epidemic. So called "Good" cops don't seem to arrest or report or stop the "Bad" cops so they are also "Bad." The only good cop is one who truly upholds the law and doesn't allow fellow officers to brutalize citizens and use unnecessary and excessive force. Why do we NEVER see a law enforcement officer arrest another officer for crossing the line during these beatings? The video evidence of an epidemic in police brutality is now on record for all the world to see and is not hard to find for those who want to know the truth. I don't want to hear the U.S. Government criticize or condemn any other government until they get their own police to comply with The Constitution and Universal Basic Human Rights. - by Todd Shea on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:15am
  • this gave me chills. i'm so grateful this was recorded for all to see. police brutality and incrimination must be exposed and have consequences! - by Jennifer Vogel on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:40pm
  • not only is the store clerk a racist and nosey to call police or even a security guard because a man was sitting in a public area on a bench....bet no call made if person on bench was white!!! the cops were not only wrong and racist but also incompetent to handle the situation....they should have gone into the clerk and asked him/her what the man was doing wrong by sitting on a bench then said cannot ask man to leave since not breaking any laws by sitting in a public area....st. paul and its police dept neeed to be sued and reported to the justice dept and aclu. - by John Augustine on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 5:04pm

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Kristoffer Tigue's picture
Kristoffer Tigue

Kristoffer Tigue is the editor of the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

(editor [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net)

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Cirien Saadeh

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Thanks for following up on

Thanks for following up on this story, and thanks for Mr. Lollie for coming forward to tell us the facts. The speculation yesterday was kind of horrible on the part of some commenters. Now we know that basically what we saw in the video was most of the story, and thanks to the judge for being impartial about it and serving justice. I have to say as a white person, I have had only positive interactions with the Saint Paul police (very well-trained on domestic violence by the way), but have also witnessed some negative behavior such as harrassing for no reason a black person just walking down the sidewalk. There is room for improvement as we can see from this story and the RNC and others.