In two separate incidents, video captured Milwaukee law enforcement officers punching a citizen in the face while the citizen was handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Milwaukee County Sheriff Sergeant Scott Krause punched Ray Calderon in 2009. Milwaukee Police Department Officer Richard Schoen punched Jeanine Tracy in 2011. Sergeant Krause was fired, and convicted of a felony. Officer Schoen was initially fired by Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, but was reinstated by the City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (“FPC”), following Officer Schoen’s appeal. In addition, Officer Schoen did not face criminal charges.
For the past few weeks, following the initial decision by the FPC to reinstate Officer Schoen, citizens and elected officials have been demanding an explanation for the disparate treatment of Sergeant Krause and Officer Schoen, despite strikingly similar incidents. Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern concluded that a jury would not convict Officer Schoen of a crime, because Ms. Tracy was combative during her arrest, therefore no criminal charges were issued against Officer Schoen. In a surprising turn of events, today the FPC reversed its earlier decision and has now upheld the firing of Officer Schoen. For more information about the two cases and today’s FPC decision, please see the two articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Milwaukee civil rights attorneys of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent Mr. Calderon in his federal civil rights lawsuit against Milwaukee County, Sergeant Krause, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputies who were present at the incident but failed to prevent Sergeant Krause from punching Mr. Calderon, failed to report the incident, and failed to obtain immediate medical care for Mr. Calderon. We will work hard to make sure that Mr. Calderon recovers for his injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
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