REQUIRE AN UNBIASED POLICE REVIEW PROCESS
B. The Unlawful Use of Excessive Force
Against Bell – Choking and Tasing.
- Bell was slowly walking along side the vehicle.
- Bell was wearing a brown leather jacket that had small front pockets that showed no bulges or anything that could resemble a weapon.
- Bell nonchalantly placed his hands in his jacket pockets.
- At the time of the stop, it was cold outside.
- Strausbaugh did not tell Bell to take his hands out of his pockets.
- Officer Strausbaugh approached Bell and placed his right hand on Bell’s throat and pushed Bell backwards into the vehicle.
- As can be seen in the dash cam video from Officer Strausbaugh’s squad car, Bell winced in response to Officer Strausbaugh’s use of force.
- Strausbaugh did not frisk Bell.
- Officer Strausbaugh then pushed Bell back towards the driver’s side front door to put Bell back in the driver’s seat.
- Officer Strausbaugh still did not tell Bell to take his hands out of his pockets.
- Bell said that he had not done anything wrong.
- Officer Strausbaugh then forcefully directed Bell back towards Officer Strausbaugh’s squad car.
- Bell voluntarily took his hands out of his pockets and showed a submissive, palms up, display.
- Bell repeatedly stated he had done nothing wrong.
- When asked for the justification for the stop, Officer Strausbaugh said “You ran right through a stop sign for one.”
- Officer Strausbaugh did not stop Bell for failing to stop at a stop sign.
- Officer Strausbaugh knew that accusing Bell of running a stop sign was a false accusation, but he believed he could say anything to Bell.
- Officer Strausbaugh found a wallet on Bell that contained Bell’s military ID.
- Bell kept trying to communicate with the officers, telling them that he knew his rights and that he had done nothing wrong.
- Bell did not do anything to exert any force or try to hurt anyone.
- The officers were very degrading and angry and were being very aggressive with Bell.
- Officer Strausbaugh did not know if Bell was out on bond for any criminal allegations and repeatedly asked Bell if he was out on bond and, if so, what the conditions were.
- When Bell refused to answer, Officer Strausbaugh tried to force Bell into the squad car..
- Bell replied that he was not going to get into the squad car
- Officer Strausbaugh then released Bell and said Bell was going to do standardized field sobriety tests.
- Bell replied that he was not going to take field sobriety tests and started to walk northbound towards his house.
- Officer Weidner and Officer Strausbaugh grabbed Bell’s arms and tripped him to take him to the ground.
- Bell landed on his stomach.
- Weidner was near Bell’s head, and Officer Strausbaugh was delivering knee strikes to Bell’s ribs.
- Bell was also being kicked.
- Bell did not touch, punch, kick, head butt or shove either of the officers.
- Instead, Bell was trying to bring his arms to his midsection underneath his body to prevent being handcuffed.
- Bell was not “actively resisting” but rather “passively resisting.”
- “Passive resistance” occurs “when a subject refuses to comply with a directive from a law enforcement officer but does not attempt to engage in physical action likely to cause bodily harm to the officer or to another person.”
- Officer Weidner placed Bell in handcuffs as Bell was laying on the ground.
- Officer Weidner then stood up from holding Bell down.
- Bell managed to get up to his knees, and Officer Strausbaugh pulled out his taser and tased Bell.
- According to Kenosha Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual, Subject: Use of Force, “The use of a Conducted Energy Weapon has been authorized by the Kenosha Police Department and may be used by trained personnel when a subject is threatening to actively resist, or is actively resisting an officer and the subject poses an articulable threat of harm to an officer or another person. … Passive resistance without posing an articulable threat of harm to officers or others does not permit the use of a conducted energy weapon.”
- Further, by Memorandum dated August 10, 2004, the Kenosha Police Department reinforced that deployment of a taser was not authorized in the following situation:
Bell arched his back and head violently and screamed in reaction to being tased.
Bell ran to his driveway and into his back yard.
- When, during the arrest process the subject simply pulls away from or is not cooperating with an officer
- When a subject is passively resisting an officer-running away without an articulable threat of harm
- When a subject is resisting but does not have the ability to harm the officer or another person.