Video shows deputy punch theft suspect: 'You haven't seen excessive force yet'

RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn. -- A Minnesota sheriff's deputy who was convicted last year of disorderly conduct in connection with the assault of an unruly inmate has resigned. Video of the encounter was released Monday.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said Monday that Travis Ray Vandewiele had left the department, KSTP reports.

The 46-year-old deputy pleaded guilty in January 2018 to a disorderly conduct charge in connection with his treatment of an inmate at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center three years prior.

Video of the incident, which occurred on April 13, 2016, shows theft suspect Terrell James Johnson handcuffed on the floor, next to a squad car, with his pants around his ankles.

In the video, two officers pick him up and put him into a transport chair. They pushed him back, trying to strap him to the chair, but his hands were still behind his back.

When Johnson did not sit all the way back, the video shows Vanewiele knees him twice in the abdomen as he says, "Sit down."

Johnson then said something about excessive force, to which Vandewiele responded, "You haven't seen excessive force yet."

Vandewiele then punched Johnson four times in his midsection. The other officers do not appear to try to stop him.

"Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me. I'm sorry," Johnson said in the video.

"If you stop fighting, we'll stop using force against you," Vandewiele said.

Officers then bent Johnson at the waist and forced his head down. The video shows that's when Johnson started crying and told them he couldn't breathe.

About 90 seconds later, Johnson is strapped into the chair and wheeled away.

"No human being should be treated in that matter. No human being," said Tyrone Terrill, president of the African American Leadership Council (AALC).

"The whole attitude of how we should approach individuals coming out of that car was completely destroyed in the actions of correctional officer Vandewiele," Fletcher said.

Court records show Vandewiele pleaded guilty last year as part of a plea agreement, KSTP reports. A fifth-degree assault charge against him in connection with the incident was dismissed. He was sentenced to one year of probation.