Jury Convicts Minneapolis SWAT Team Leader For Knockout Punch

Posted on April 14, 2013

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Minnesota (Joy Powell-Star Tribune) – Jurors in Anoka County on Saturday convicted a Minneapolis police SWAT team leader of delivering a knockout punch that nearly killed another bar patron in Andover.

Sgt. David R. Clifford, 48, will be sentenced May 29 for the assault on Brian Vander Lee, who fell and hit his head on the concrete patio floor at Tanners Station. The 44-year-old father of four was on life support for 40 days and underwent three brain surgeries after Clifford punched him last June. Problems with memory, hearing and headaches linger, said a close friend, Mike Archambeault.

SWAT team leader David Clifford, charged with assaulting Brian Vander Lee at an Andover bar, appeared  in Anoka County courthouse ,Thursday afternoon October 4, 2012.  David Clifford left the courthouse with his attorney Fred Bruno on the right, after a brief appearance. ]  Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Richard Sennott/Star Tribune. , Anoka Minn. Thursday 10/04/12)  ** (cq)

SWAT team leader David Clifford, charged with assaulting Brian Vander Lee at an Andover bar, appeared in Anoka County courthouse ,Thursday afternoon October 4, 2012. David Clifford left the courthouse with his attorney Fred Bruno on the right, after a brief appearance. ] Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Richard Sennott/Star Tribune. , Anoka Minn. Thursday 10/04/12)

Clifford faces a term of seven years under state sentencing guidelines. Two-thirds of that would be served in prison, the rest on supervised release. He was convicted of first- and third-degree assault, both felonies, and fifth-degree misdemeanor assault. Convicted felons are not eligible to hold a Minnesota peace officer license.

“Everyone assumes we’re going to give him a break because he’s a police officer,“ prosecutor Blair Buccicone said. “We treat everyone the same. David Clifford is no different from anybody else.”

Read more:     http://www.startribune.com/local/north/202864901.html

Posted in: Cops Gone Wild