Isanti Police officer charged with assault

An Isanti Police officer has been charged with assault following an incident in February while booking an intoxicated male into the Isanti County Jail.

Rodrick Lloyd Barrows
Rodrick Lloyd Barrows

Rodrick Lloyd Barrows, 45, was charged by summons and complaint of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault. The complaint was filed on April 5 in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge.

The incident happened on Feb. 14 inside an elevator of the jail while the man was handcuffed behind his back. Investigators reviewed footage from Barrow’s body camera and a camera inside the elevator prior to charges being filed.

“To avoid a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict, the Chisago County Attorney’s Office has reviewed the results of the investigation completed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and has filed the criminal complaint with Isanti County District Court,” said Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter.

Reiter said a court date has not yet been set for Barrow’s first appearance.

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer released the following statement regarding Barrows.

“Once the city became aware of the investigation relating to Officer Barrows, he was placed on administrative leave from the city police department,” Wimmer said. “While it is now our understanding that Officer Barrows has criminal charges filed against him, which we have not seen, the city will be moving forward in conducting its own employment investigation regarding this matter. The city of Isanti remains committed to requiring its police officers to perform their work following a high standard of professional conduct.”

According to the criminal complaint:
On Feb. 14, at 6:25 p.m., law enforcement were called to Coborn’s grocery store in the city of Isanti for a report of an intoxicated male in the parking lot and Barrows responded.

The man appeared to be intoxicated and was yelling at patrons in the parking lot. Barrows said the man was aggressive and refusing to comply with commands. Barrows physically restrained the man and placed him under arrest.

The man was handcuffed and placed in the back of Barrow’s squad car and transported to the jail. During the transport, the man was verbally aggressive toward Barrows. There are several back and forth exchanges between Barrows and the man, and the man is clearly upset with Barrows. After they arrived at the jail, Barrows completed pre-booking procedures inside of his squad car and the man continued to be verbally aggressive with Barrows.

Barrows then took the man into the jail and the man was handcuffed behind his back. Barrows had the man enter the elevator and face the rear while Barrows maintained physical control of the man’s hands. Barrows said the man was physically tensing his body, and he ordered him to “knock it off” twice. Barrows then placed the man on the floor of the elevator and called for medical assistance because he believed the man may have lost consciousness.

On Feb. 21, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Special Agent Brent Peterson reviewed the video from Barrow’s body camera as well as the video from the elevator. Prior to entering the elevator, Barrows and the man continue to exchange dialog. Inside the elevator, Barrows orders the man to “knock it off” and repeats this command before physically interacting with him.

Barrows uses his left arm-hand to push the man’s head up against the corner of the elevator. Barrows then wraps his left arm around the man’s neck-throat area and throws the man to the floor of the elevator. The man struck his head on the floor of the elevator and appears to go limp. Barrows continues to hold onto the man and calls for medical assistance.

The man was medically cleared and refused any further medical attention. He did submit to a breath test and his blood alcohol content was .17.

On Feb. 28, Peterson interviewed Barrows who detailed the man was aggressive during the entire encounter. Barrows said the “take-down” he used was necessary and intentional.