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Jury begins deliberating in Brown Deer police officer's trial

Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 26, 2018

The jury has started deliberating in the trial of Brown Deer Police Officer Devon Kraemer. 

Kraemer is accused of unlawfully shooting Manuel Burnley Jr. during an arrest near 60th & Brown Deer Rd. in March, 2016. 

Kraemer and officer Michael Leeman responded to an MCTS bus after the driver said Burnley Jr. was arguing and yelling at her over a change in transfer policy. 

Both officers testified during Kraemer's trial that Burnley Jr. continued to argue and resist, so they escorted him off the bus. 

At that point, Leeman tripped Burnley Jr. and caused all three people to fall to the ground. 

Kraemer testified that  she feared Burnley Jr. might be armed, and that the two officers were losing the fight to him, so she decided to shoot him once in the back. 

Burnley Jr. survived the shooting but lost part of a lung. 

Prosecutor Jim Griffin argued to jurors Monday in his closing argument that Kraemer and Leeman exaggerated when describing the threat Burnley Jr. posed. 

"What the evidence shows here is that this notion of him as a terrifying individual is a sales job," Griffin said. 

"A bullet to the back of an unarmed man -- with no warning. That's what we've got here," he argued. 

But Kraemer's attorney, Michael Steinle, told the jury that Burnley Jr. was constantly resisting the officers. He said they never had Burnley Jr. under control.  

"He's a bully. He was aggressive. He was abusive," Steinle said. 

He said Burnley Jr. lied when he testified he was merely trying to get the arrest over with, and was not fighting off the handcuffs. 

"Thats what this whole case is about, is Burnley just lying through his teeth and bullying his way through life," Steinle said. "That's what he does, he bullies his way through life, he uses his size and his strength." 

Should jurors fail to reach a verdict on the charge of Aggravated Battery With Intent to Cause Great Bodily Harm, they can consider a lesser charge of Aggravated Battery With Intent to Cause Bodily Harm. 

The maximum sentence for the original charge is 15 years in prison. The maximum sentence on the lesser charge is 6 years in prison. 

However, if jurors find Kraemer guilty of either charge, they'll also have to consider if the crime occurred with the use of a dangerous weapon. That modifier carries a penalty of up to an additional 5 years imprisonment.