A six-month investigation has led to the conclusion that the North Mankato Police officers who used non-lethal force during the arrest of a suspect who later died were justified when deploying their tasers during the incident.

North Mankato Police Chief Ross Gullickson.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office reviewed the incident at the request of local officials and concluded that 39-year-old Aaron Rasmussen acted aggressively toward officers and repeated attempts to de-escalate the situation were not successful.

Police were called after Rasmussen was seen pacing along Howard Drive, acting aggressively. North Mankato Police Chief Ross Gullickson said Rasmussen directed that aggression toward police when they arrived and officers eventually had to resort to the use of their tasers to subdue him.

“Our officers exercised sound judgment and decision making in attempting to de-escalate the situation,” he explained, “Only when forced to act in the interest of public safety and officers’ safety did they engage Mr. Rasmussen and take him into custody.”

Gullickson added that such incidents, “Are fluid and dynamic situations, and officers use the least amount of force deemed appropriate given the situation but sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen.”

Shortly after Rasmussen was tased and handcuffed he suffered an apparent seizure and Gullickson said he was taken to the hospital, and died several days later at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

The Olmsted County Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia due to preexisting medical conditions that may have been aggravated by the incident.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office report concluded, “There is no question that the actions of the officers of the North Mankato Police Department in this matter were wholly justified”.