A man who knocked a Minneapolis police officer unconscious with a metal trash can lid during the riots of August 2020 will not go to jail.
Rather, the man, Brayshaun Gibson, will serve one year of house arrest thanks to a plea deal his defense reached with the prosecution. While this penalty has not yet been enacted, the presiding judge has agreed to the deal and will formally sentence Gibson soon, a judicial branch spokesperson told Alpha News.
The plea deal also dismisses two other unrelated cases; one where Gibson allegedly threw large rocks at a police car and another where he was accused of stealing from Home Depot at least 10 times and up to 194 times.
Gibson was propelled to online infamy after a video went viral that shows him throwing a heavy metal trash can lid into the back of a police officer’s head near Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. The officer is seen immediately collapsing, unconscious, as the crowd cheers. This attack occurred during a riot that was inspired by a false internet rumor that police had killed a black man earlier that day.
The officer sustained a head injury and was treated for possible spinal damage, according to the original statement of probable cause that warranted Gibson’s arrest.
The attack at Nicollet Mall was not the only time Gibson has been accused of using violence against police during a riot. One of the charges that was dismissed, thanks to his recent plea deal, alleges that he threw “heavy rocks at a squad [car]” as police attempted to respond “to a stabbing during a riot situation” on May 28, 2020. This was during the peak of the George Floyd riots.
The other charge that was dismissed is not riot-related. It alleges that Gibson stole $3,386 of goods from Home Depot across 10 visits to the retailer.
The maximum penalty that could have been imposed against Gibson based on the three felony cases was 30 years in prison. However, he will now serve zero years behind bars.
The punishment provided under the terms of the plea bargain for knocking a police officer unconscious is so minimal that it’s lower than the typical minimum sentence for such a crime. This type of sentencing is allowed in Minnesota at the discretion of a judge; it’s called a “dispositional departure.”