ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a former St. Paul police officer Friday to six years in prison for kicking a suspect and allowing a police dog to maul him.
Brett Palkowitsch, 33, apologized through tears during the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright, Minnesota Public Radio reported. He said he would be willing to put himself in front of future officers to make sure “they know right from wrong, and how quick it can happen, and make sure it never happens again.”
A federal jury in 2019 found Palkowitsch, who is white, guilty of kicking Frank Baker, a Black man, and letting a police dog maul him in 2016 after Baker was mistaken for a robbery suspect. Baker suffered seven broken ribs and collapsed lungs.
Baker said he forgives Palkowitsch but wouldn’t accept his apology. He said he still has trouble breathing.
“We’ve got this COVID-19 going on, and my lungs are messed up, so it’s like I’m a prisoner in my own home,” Baker told the radio network. “I can’t go out because I’m primed to catch anything because of my lungs.”
Hayley Miller contributed reporting.