Here is the most violent portion of the video:
Here is the full seven-minute video:
A bystander captured the arrest on cell phone video and posted it to Facebook under the name RichBoy Robinson, where it was shared several thousand times and viewed hundreds of thousands of times. RichBoy Robinson’s Facebook page appeared to be deleted between midnight and 1 am Wednesday for reasons that remain unclear.
Before being deleted, the video prompted a meeting between Madison Police Chief Mike Koval and Laird’s family, several Madison Alders, State Rep. Chris Taylor, a representative from the office of County Executive Joe Parisi and Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson. A few dozen others gathered outside the Public Safety Building to protest the police’s actions.
At an impromptu press conference after the meeting, Johnson called for restorative justice rather than felony charges for Laird, especially since Laird’s family says she has never been in trouble before. Court records indicate she has not had any run-ins with the law as an adult.
“We all saw that video and it’s brutal,” said Johnson, calling on District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne to have “empathy.”
“We want to make sure there’s due process, but let’s do it in a way where we meet with the family, meet with community leaders and figure out we address this issue,” Johnson said. “When you continue to see videos like this, it creates a mistrust in the community.”
Alix Shabazz of Freedom, Inc, also at the protest Tuesday night, called for Laird’s immediate release and for charges to be brought against the arresting officers.
“She was calling for help,” Shabazz said. “Just like Tony Robinson. His friends called the police for help and the police killed him. Thank God she is not dead.”
Madison Alder Shiva Bidar, who attended the meeting with Koval and Laird’s family, said in an interview afterward that the meeting was “important.”
“It was important to have the meeting. It was important for the family to meet (Koval) face to face,” she said. “The chief shared that there were a lot of unanswered questions and he was not able to speak in much more detail because he had not had a chance to read the report, talk to the officers, et cetera. What i feel very sad about is the fact that we have no real answers, there’s this 18 year old with no prior criminal history in jail.”
Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain declined to make any additional comment beyond the incident report.
The latest incident comes just weeks after Koval and Common Council alders sparred over the Common Council’s vote to spend $400,000 on an independent review of the Madison Police Department.
Also on Tuesday, just hours after the arrest, Madison Police showed off their new military-style Armored Rescue Vehicle at a Madison Mallards game at Warner Park.
MPD’s Armored Rescue Vehicle is making a stop at the Mallards game tonight…Maynard is checking out the view! pic.twitter.com/Lc3Hc2TI5l
— Madison Police (@madisonpolice) June 21, 2016