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Minn. School Security Officer Cleared After Excessive Force Investigation

The officer has been “cleared of all wrongdoing” and the student may be charged.

Police have cleared a Minnesota school resource officer who’d been accused of excessive force while breaking up a fight involving a Muslim student in June.

Jason Rieck, who works at Apple Valley High School in Minneapolis, had been placed on administrative leave while Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District investigated the incident.

An independent investigator hired by the school district concluded Rieck did nothing wrong on Aug, 7 and Rieck will continue to be employed by the district. Apple Valley Police Captain Nick Francis said no criminal charges are being sought against Rieck.

Capt. Francis also told twincities.com that the department has recommended charges against the student, who allegedly resisted arrest and gave Rieck a bloody nose. Dakota County prosecutors have not confirmed the student will be charged.

The incident occurred on June 1 when Rieck and a school resource officer broke up a fight between two students, one of whom was a 15-year-old Muslim female.

The Muslim student claimed the male student she was fighting had verbally harassed her and called her a terrorist. Rieck later called three Apple Valley police officers to take the student into custody. The student also claimed the officers removed her hijab after putting handcuffs on her.

The Muslim student claimed Rieck used excessive force against her while breaking up the fight. The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, subsequently backed up the student’s claim and called on the district to discipline Rieck.

Rieck has no disciplinary actions on his record. The district said in a statement it has never had to discipline a school resource officer.

“There were allegations made that Mr Rieck’s conduct was racially motivated and those allegations were proved to be false,” Rieck’s lawyer Philip Villaume said in a news release.

 

About the Author

Contact:

Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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