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Officer Involved in Violent Arrest Placed on Restricted Duty; Koval Seeks Outside Investigation

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The officer seen on home security video punching a Black teenager in the head after covering his face in a “spit hood” has been placed on “restricted duty,” according to a blog post by Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

As we reported yesterday, Madison police launched an internal investigation Monday following a complaint of excessive force. A 17-year-old student left Madison West High School in an apparently mental health crisis, and police, working with Journey Mental Health, went to his home to place him into protective custody. Home security video shows the teen being cooperative and not aggressive when an officer suddenly slammed him into a wall and two officers wrestled him to a couch. He was still restrained by two officers when a third entered and placed a “spit hood” — a mesh bag to prevent him from biting or spitting on officers — over his head and then punched him three times.

After Madison365 reported on the incident, Madison police issued an incident report saying the teen had refused to comply with officers’ instructions and that the officer who punched him did so in order to gain his compliance — even though two officers already had him fully restrained.

On Thursday Koval said the officer who had punched the teen was placed on restricted duty. He further said that he would seek an outside agency to review the incident after the internal investigation is complete.

“Specifically, I will request that a subject matter expert in Defense and Arrest Tactics (DAAT) to review whether the force used was reasonable and appropriate based on guidelines articulated by the State of Wisconsin’s Training and Standards curriculum,” Koval wrote.

Koval also said he had directed the Records Section of MPD to expedite the release of all police reports on the incident, and that all reports had already been turned over to the district attorney’s office.