A video recently posted to Instagram shows a Minneapolis police officer forcefully arresting a 64-year-old Black man Wednesday night at an Aldi grocery store.
The nearly five-minute video at the Aldi at E. Franklin Avenue and 14th Avenue S. begins after the incident is already underway, with officer Christopher Lange questioning Troy Lee Billups of Minneapolis near the checkout area while in uniform.
Billups said, "Don't put your hands on me," to which Lange replied, "You're out," and grabbed Billups by the back of his brown hoodie and pushed him down onto a nearby ledge.
Under the force, Billups' hat and some of his belongings fell to the floor.
"What are you doing?" a witness then shouted at Lange. "You're supposed to de-escalate. How is this de-escalating?"
"You're under arrest," Lange said to Billups.
"For what?" Billups asked repeatedly as Lange forced him to the ground. Billups appeared to resist the handcuffing, telling Lange, "Let me go."
When Lange did let go, Billups rebuked him for apparently shoving a young man in the store earlier.
"You gotta keep your hands off him," Billups said. "You don't put your hands on no young kid."
Shortly after, in the Aldi parking lot, Lange handcuffed Billups beside three marked squad cars.
"All I did was tell him, 'Don't touch the kid,'" a calm Billups said to a nearby officer as Lange emptied Billups' groceries on the hood of a squad car.
Billups was charged with obstructing the legal process by interfering with a police officer, a misdemeanor, and he was held overnight at the Hennepin County jail ahead of a Thursday court appearance, where Hennepin County District Judge James Moore ordered that he be released without bail. His next court appearance is Jan. 5.
Billups declined to comment through his attorney, Leslie O'Connor. As of Thursday night, the video has been viewed nearly 46,000 times.
Mayor Jacob Frey said Thursday that he had heard about the video.
"I haven't had a chance to yet review it in full, but I certainly will," he said.
At the time of the incident, Lange was working onsite in an off-duty capacity, Police Department spokesman Garrett Parten said. Departmental policy states that while off-duty, officers are technically working as "employees" in a civilian capacity. They may still be in uniform and make arrests.
In his arrest report, Lange wrote: "An officer working off-duty security witnessed an altercation take place at the listed address and attempted to stop it. One of the parties started to actively resist the officer after being told to leave and still actively resisted when informed he was under arrest."
The public information report did not identify the other officers present at the scene.
"This matter has been referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review for evaluation," Parten said. "Department policy and training continues to emphasize the importance of de-escalation efforts to stabilize and resolve situations when safe and feasible."
According to MPD policy, if an officer is issued a disciplinary action in relation to off-duty employment, it may be grounds for suspending, denying or revoking their permission to work off-duty.
Lange has been investigated for misconduct five times since 2019, records show. None of the investigations resulted in disciplinary action.
Staff writers Kim Hyatt and Liz Navratil contributed to this report.