Minneapolis SWAT team leader faces first-degree assault charge (Video released) (Star Tribune)
Wednesday July 18th, 2012
Minneapolis police Sgt. David Clifford, a SWAT team leader once lauded by the United Nations for the "highest level of dedication and professionalism," was charged with first-degree assault Tuesday in an off-duty incident last month that left a Ramsey man temporarily on life support.
Brian Vander Lee, who had two brain surgeries after the alleged assault at Tanners Station in Andover on June 16, has been recovering at home since undergoing a third surgery, on July 4. The latest operation became necessary after an earlier incision erupted, leading to an infection, Anoka County prosecutor Blair Buccicone said on Tuesday.
Clifford, 47, who has been a member of the Minneapolis Police Department since 1993, was originally charged with third-degree assault, a felony. Asked why the charges were upgraded, Buccicone said: "If there hadn't been medical intervention, Brian Vander Lee likely would have died."