FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1996                          (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Minneapolis police officer who
allegedly punched handcuffed detainees was charged today with
civil rights violations, the Justice Department announced.

     Officer Anthony Michael Barragan of the Minneapolis Police
Department was charged in U.S. District Court in Minnesota with
two felony counts of using excessive force while acting under the
color of law.  The charges stem from two incidents that occurred
in November of 1995.

     According to the indictment, on November 24, Officer
Barragan and his partner arrested Stonewall Jackson Drain, a
resident of a transitional group home.  A video camera at the
group home shows that after handcuffing Drain, Officer Barragan
punched and kicked him.

     The indictment also alleged that earlier that month, on
November 7, Barragan and another partner arrested a man in the
alley behind a Minneapolis apartment complex and placed him in
the back seat of his patrol car.  Barragan allegedly punched the
man, again after he had been handcuffed.

     If convicted, Barragan faces up to 10 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine.
     Today's case is being jointly prosecuted by the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Minnesota together with the Justice
Department's Civil Rights Division.
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