Man who struck police officer with trash can lid charged with assault, riot and burglary

The officer has since been released from the hospital but continues to receive treatment for his injuries.

A Minneapolis man has been charged with four felonies, including second and third-degree assault, for hitting a police officer with a trash can lid during a violent eruption in downtown Minneapolis late last month, charges say.

Brayshaun Lamar Gibson, 28, of north Minneapolis, has been charged in Hennepin County after authorities said he threw a 15-pound trash can lid that struck a police sergeant in the back of the head. The incident took place during the mayhem that followed a false rumor of an officer-involved shooting on Aug. 26.

The assault was captured on video and shows what appears to be a heavy metal disc being thrown by someone out of camera range. The disc hit the officer in the back of the head and he immediately collapsed to the ground.

The crowd could be heard cheering following the assault as the officer was down on the ground.

According to the criminal complaint, the garbage can lid struck the sergeant in the head and knocked him unconscious.

The rioting and looting were sparked by the false rumor that a black man was killed by a police officer on Nicollet Mall. The man, later identified as Eddie Sole Jr., 38, was a suspect in a murder that had occurred in a downtown Minneapolis parking ramp earlier in the day. As police closed in on him, Sole shot himself in the head.

The Minneapolis Police Department tried to quell the rumor and the violent outbreak by quickly releasing security camera footage that showed Sole committing suicide, but the riots and looting continued. The rioting began downtown and spread into other areas of Minneapolis, causing damage to several businesses.

Police were able to identify and apprehend Gibson based on surveillance video that captured the assault as well as Gibson’s arrival and departure from the scene with a group of males. Gibson admitted that the vehicle seen in the surveillance video was his, and that he was driving the vehicle in downtown Minneapolis the night of the incident.

Gibson has also been charged with one count of second-degree riot and one count of third-degree burglary. The complaint states that Gibson was captured on surveillance video entering a business through a broken window. The video shows Gibson and his companions taking property from the store, some of which was later recovered from his car.

A search of Minnesota court records reveals that Gibson has been previously charged with fifth-degree assault in 2012 and 2014. Gibson pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct under the terms of plea agreements in both cases, and the assault charges were dismissed at sentencing. Gibson has two other convictions for disorderly conduct as well as numerous driving offenses.

Gibson was taken into custody on Wednesday and was charged on Friday. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Sept. 8.

The officer has since been released from the hospital but continues to receive treatment for his injuries.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.