The manner in which police in Hutchinson, Minnesota responded to a 61-year-old white man who dragged an officer with his vehicle while wielding a hammer has many calling out the inherent hypocrisies of law enforcement at large, particularly in light of the police killing of 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright, which also occurred in Minnesota.
According to a WCCO report, the incident began at approximately 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday when an employee at a Menards home improvement store was “attacked” by the suspect—later identified as Luke Alvine Oeltjenbruns—with a piece of lumber. Shortly after, the man was seen by a police officer in a nearby Walmart parking lot.
From there, the presumed anti-masker is said to have led an officer on a “slow-speed chase” that came to a close near the Hutchinson Mall. At that point, the officer approached the vehicle before being dragged and struck on the head with a hammer. The man was ultimately placed in custody.
In a press release on Thursday, the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office—who is leading the investigation—offered the following:
“The individual arrested yesterday in the incident involving an assault on a Hutchinson Police Officer is Luke Alvine Oeltjenbruns, age 61, of rural Hutchinson. Oeltjenbruns was booked into the McLeod County Jail on probable cause [of] first degree assault. Additional charges are also being considered and this case remains under investigation. The officer involved was released from the hospital and is currently at home recovering.”
The department also released a mugshot:
Bystander footage made its way to social media showing a white truck speeding away from police cruisers while the officer hangs on to the driver’s side window.
Quickly, many pointed out how this 61-year-old white man was taken into custody without being shot. Meanwhile, as was the case with 20-year-old Daunte Wright, people of color are often met with aggression from police officers by default.
Wright was fatally shot by now-former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota officer Kim Potter earlier this month during a traffic stop and attempted arrest. Police later claimed Potter had intended to use her Taser but accidentally grabbed her firearm, an explanation that was quickly picked apart, including by Wright’s parents.
“I cannot accept that,” the 20-year-old’s father, Aubrey Wright, said during a recent Good Morning America interview. “I lost my son. He’s never coming back. I can’t accept that, ‘a mistake,’ that doesn’t even sound right. This officer that’s been on the force [for] 26 years? I can’t accept that.”