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Milwaukee police reviewing use of force in video showing officer shove man

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 19:25:11-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department is now reviewing officers' use of force after a video surfaced showing an officer shove a man over the weekend.

The video was shot by a TMJ4 viewer Saturday on the city's south side.

The video does not contain audio. In it, you can see two officers approach the man. One of them kicks the man's belongings and grabs a red backpack.

The man points his finger and approaches the second officer, and that's when you can see that officer push the man backwards, causing him to fall on the ground into the arms of the other officer.

According to MPD, officers responded to a report of an indecent exposure. Officers approached the individual, who they say was argumentative and threatened an officer. Police say that is when the officer used force. Now, that use of force is under review.

MPD said a 37-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested, cited and released. MPD says he was cited for disorderly conduct and resist/obstruct an officer.

TMJ4's Ubah Ali spoke to Reverend James West and showed him the 42 second clip showing part of the interaction. While watching, Rev. West said he believes the approach could have led to a different outcome.

"Your approach a lot of times can determine your ending," Reverend West stated.

While watching the video, West recognized where the man could have been put on alert.

"The pushing with the foot of their belongings could have been a trigger," he said.

Reverend West works with the homeless population at Repairers of the Breach. He believes this kind of interaction could have been avoided.

"Was that a technique (referring to the push by one of the officers) when you feel threatened and you're that close that you do or is there other things you can do?" he asked.

West said officers need to understand the role mental health can play.

"They might be hearing voices in their head," West said. "Their understanding is not clear. When things happen too fast, they begin to go into a mode of protection."

West believes an officer's initial approach is key to better outcomes.

"They're still a human. They're still a citizen and they still have rights and we should treat them as so," he said.

We asked MPD for comment regarding the situation. We were told MPD does not comment on open investigations. However, Tuesday night MPD released the following updated statement:

The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is aware of a video involving an MPD officer using force that has been circulated on social media. On Saturday, April 23, 2022, at approximately 5:23 p.m., Milwaukee Police officers responded to an indecent exposure that occurred on the 3100 block of S. 27th Street. On arrival, MPD officers encountered an individual. During the encounter, the individual threatened to strike an officer and went towards that officer at which time that officer used force. The suspect, a 37-year-old Milwaukee man, was arrested, cited and released. MPD takes all of our internal investigations extremely seriously and holds our members to the highest level of integrity. If a member violates the code of conduct they will be held accountable. The use of force is under review.

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