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Chief Brunson denounces former officers who roughed up suspect: 'We can ill-afford to have this '

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 18:49:40-04

The Milwaukee Police Department is publicly responding after officers resigned following the release of body camera footage showing them roughing up a suspect.

As TMJ4 News first reported, an internal investigation sparked by the incident resulted in five charges against Eric Ratzmann and four against Eric Fjeld. One of those charges was lying on a police report.

Hours before the men were going to be served discharge papers, they both resigned.

Supervisors at District Six discovered the video after a citizen captured the incident and complained about the behavior of the officers.

Body camera video of now-former MPD officers roughing up suspect sparks internal investigation

The video shows the officers detain a robbery suspect on the city's south side, rough him up, and drive him to another neighborhood, where they left him, on June 30.

In a statement Wednesday, MPD said Acting Chief Brunson denounced the behavior displayed by the two now-former officers.

“These are the type of incidents that bring disrepute to the Milwaukee Police Department. We can ill-afford to have this type of display of unacceptable behavior during this time or any time,” Brunson said during a roll call video to MPD officers last month.

“And if anyone engages in the type of behavior that you will see displayed on this video, you will be separated from the Milwaukee Police Department. There is no place for individuals who treat people like this in our city,” Brunson said.

MPD detailed Wednesday that Fjeld was discharged for violating MPD "Code of Conduct core values Competence, Courage and Integrity," and Ratzmann was discharged for violating core values "Competence and Respect."

Brunson also mandated that Milwaukee police supervisors play the video of the incident for their officers at the start of their shift.

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