March 21, 2023

ACLU calls for investigation of law enforcement Agent Joe Joswiak


St. Paul, Minn. (June 22, 2017) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota released footage from a 2016 stop of Anthony Promvongsa in Worthington, Minn. The video footage shows Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak using excessive force against Promvongsa.

Within seconds of Promvongsa’s vehicle being stopped Agent Joswiak approaches the vehicle with a weapon drawn and starts screaming at Promvongsa to “Get the fuck out of the car mother fucker, show me your hands.” He then immediately yanks open the door and begins violently pulling Promvongsa from the vehicle before Promvongsa can even remove his seat belt. Joswiak begins to knee and punch Promvongsa while Promvongsa is still in the vehicle. After a couple of seconds the audio is intentionally shut off by another officer on the scene, Sergeant Gaul, who himself has had two prior civil lawsuits filed against him for use of excessive force.

The entire incident from when the vehicle is pulled over to when Promvongsa is under arrest and in the backseat of the vehicle handcuffed is less than two minutes. Promvongsa was not given proper time to obey the officer’s orders before excessive force was used against him.

“Agent Joswiak’s use of force against Anthony Promvongsa is disturbing and completely unnecessary. We are calling for an investigation of Agent Joswiak’s behavior and for him to be held accountable for his brutal attack on Anthony Promvongsa, up to and including termination and prosecution,” stated Teresa Nelson, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota. “Thus far Agent Joswiak has received no punishment for this abhorrent treatment of Anthony. This sends a message that the department condones the officer’s behavior, which it should not.”

This whole incident began when off-duty police officers accused Promvongsa of driving recklessly. The prosecutor upped the reckless driving charges to assault with a deadly weapon — his car. Promvongsa denies any conduct that would warrant the type of brutal attack that occurred here.

“I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer,” stated Anthony Promvongsa. “I did not even have the opportunity to take off my seatbelt before I was literally blindsided with this unnecessary attack. I immediately pulled over for the Worthington squad car and before I knew what was happening I was beat and ripped from my vehicle. I know I am not the first person to have this type of traumatic experience with law enforcement in Worthington. This type of violence with community members has to stop. This encounter was demoralizing and has left me scared of future interactions with the police.”

Promvongsa’s case is to be set for trial, although no trial date has currently been given.

Promvongsa’s public defender in his criminal case is available for interviews, but Promvongsa himself will not be giving interviews.

2 thoughts on “Video shows Worthington, Minn. police officer using excessive force against young Asian Man

  1. So, has Agent Joe Joswiak been sent to prison yet? Can we get a follow up article on this please? Have his superiors also been fired to clean up his police department or are they still dirty?

  2. The “officer’s” behavior is abhorrent. Time after time i watch videos of cops who openly admit that they will Lie, Cheat, and Steal to frame someone for a crime. I have seen the video of the detective who drops some crack on the counter of a “head” shop (they sell tobacco smoking products which may also be used to smoke pot) he arrested the young black store owner who was facing six years minimum, when someone checked the stores security video. There it was plain as day… The cop planted the crack! A young man almost lost his livelihood, reputation, and freedom to a crooked cop… Nothing happened to the cop, as is the usual! I have seen hundreds of similar videos on youtube, of cops who don’t know that they are being recorded, and clearly commit crimes with impunity! I am sick of hearing that 99% of police are good honest hard working people, and 1% are crooked. Believe me, it is the other way around! 1% are good, the rest are criminals with massive fragile ego’s, and a nice shiney badge, and a really big gun! Also Police officers have the highest rate of domestic violence. Studies have found that a minimum of 40 percent of families of officers have experienced some type of domestic violence. So if cops have no problem beating their own family members, what makes one think that they would have any problem, morally, or ethically beating the tar out of YOU??? I am really getting tired of elite politicians, celebrities, and general all ’round wealthy do-gooders telling me that I should give up my guns, because the police are here to protect me!??? It is the police that I am most afraid of. A burglar may beat me, and take my stuff, however the police will beat me, take my stuff (asset forfeiture) AND leave me with a record which will preclude me from any substantial employment for the rest of my life!!! Something must be done! Starting with the elimination of the presumption that police are telling the truth in court. For too long courts have assumed that defendants would say ANYTHING to avoid prosecution. They need to start believing that officers will say anything to get the conviction.

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