Wife: Minneapolis cop’s assault charge a ‘slap in the face’ - New York News

Wife: Minneapolis cop’s assault charge a ‘slap in the face’

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Sgt. David Clifford Sgt. David Clifford

The Minneapolis police officer accused of hitting a Ramsey Man and putting him in the hospital is out of jail tonight.

Just days after Sgt. David Clifford allegedly attacked Brian Vander Lee, Sgt. Clifford walked out of jail on just a $15,000 bond.

Kourtney Vander Lee, Brian's wife, says the charge of third degree assault is a slap in the face for what Sgt. David Clifford did to her husband.

"I watched him walk out of the court house today and was sick to my stomach," Kourtney said. "I thought the bail was a joke."

But thankfully Brian is showing signs of improvement and is even saying a few words.

"It was great instant hope. I knew we had gone over one little hurdle of many to come," Kourtney said.

She said another hurdle is getting the severity of the charges increased. As it stands, Sgt. Clifford faces one count of third degree assault.

It is a charge Kourtney says she cannot understand.

By definition, third degree assault is substantial bodily harm. To reach the level of first degree, great bodily harm would have to be proven.

The Anoka County Attorney's office says it files charges based on the evidence they have at the time of the charging decision, stating it's not uncommon to amend charges in assault type cases when they get more specific medical evidence on a victim.

The County Attorney's office said they have not yet received Brian's medical records from Mercy Hospital.

Sgt. Clifford is still employed by the Minneapolis Police Department and currently on home assignment.

Chief Dolan released a statement saying, in part: "I pray for Mr. Brian Vander Lee and his family. The Minneapolis Police Department does not wait until a criminal prosecution has been completed to make internal findings and take disciplinary action."

Clifford's attorney said there are two sides to ever story, and eventually we'll hear his.

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