Brookfield police responded on Wednesday after a 13-year-old boy was arrested during a shoplifting incident, caught on camera by members of the community.
According to police, an officer was flagged down by a loss prevention officer at a Burlington store on 124th Street in Brookfield, just south of Capitol Drive.
Police said that the 13-year-old boy was seen on camera taking items from the store.
That boy and a 16-year-old were detained across the street near 124th and North Avenue which was caught on camera by members of the community.
The two were told to sit on the corner, as the responding officer questioned them on the scene about the theft, police said. Brookfield Police said the items stolen included a belt and some sport socks.
Eventually, several backup officers were called. Brookfield police said it was important to have enough officers available on scene to be able to control the situation.
Nearly a dozen officers seen on camera during the incident from three neighboring agencies. The arrest occurred on the Wauwatosa side of 124th Street in Milwaukee County. Officers from other departments included the Brookfield, Wauwatosa and Butler police departments.
“Why does it take 5 or 6 people to hold down a 13-year-old kid?” one woman asked on scene as she filmed the encounter on Facebook Live.
The alleged theft happened in the Brookfield side of 124th Street in Waukesha County.
In a statement to TMJ4, the witness sent this recount, addressing her concern in-part:
Regardless of what the situation was that kind of response was not necessary for a minor retail theft issue. That many officers, that many Squad cars and that many officers pinning down a small 13-year-old child was completely on uncalled for.
The woman said she started recording because she said the sight of so many officers involved frightened her.
Brookfield Police showed TMJ4 a 16-minute video from a body camera worn by the responding officers. Several officers can be seen holding the boy down as he yelled. Officers paused the video at moments where the boy appeared to spit at one of the officers while being taken down on the ground.
Officers said more people responded because five officers are currently training. That means two officers were assigned to one vehicle unit, more than the normal sole officer.
Police are asking for charges, including retail theft, resisting/obstructing causing injury, battery to law enforcement and expelling bodily fluids.
The 16-year-old was not charged.