Former MPD officer receives $5K fine for misconduct after in-custody death of Keishon Thomas

NOW: Former MPD officer receives $5K fine for misconduct after in-custody death of Keishon Thomas

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A former Milwaukee Police Department officer sat before a judge Monday, March 11 after being found guilty of misconduct in office.

The charges came after 20-year-old Keishon Thomas died in custody at Milwaukee Police Department District 5 two years ago.

Former MPD Officer Donald Krueger was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine as his sentence.

Prosecutors found Krueger recorded completing required cell block checks during times when they did not happen and failed to provide medical attention to a person in custody.

"This obviously was preventable by everybody that was involved, me included," Krueger said in court Monday. "I wish the arresting officers would have told me Mr. Thomas had ingested some baggies of drugs."

During his sentencing, the former officer took responsibility for writing false cell check times but said he doesn't believe that he had enough information about Keishon Thomas' state at the time.

Thomas was arrested during a traffic stop on Feb. 23, 2022.

Authorities said he admitted to ingesting drugs before his arrest. He died of an overdose hours later in his jail cell.

Bodycam video shows Krueger ask Thomas if he needs to go to the hospital.

Thomas says no but was later seen dry-heaving and sweating.

In video, Krueger later says they will take him to the hospital, but that doesn't end up happening.

Krueger also recorded doing cell block checks that weren't actually completed, as he was booking Thomas at the time.

Judge Kori Ashley told Krueger that blaming the arresting officers is a deflection, and he had enough information to make the right choice.

"This is a series of really unfortunate circumstances, decisions, that had a very, very unfortunate outcome," Judge Ashley said. "But, it also, I hope, lets other officers and people in these positions understand how important it is to get it right."

The Judge noted Krueger is not a risk to the public and determined a $5,000 fine and felony conviction are appropriate punishments.

Another Milwaukee police officer, Marco Lopez, is also charged with misconduct in the case.

He is set for a jury trial this May.

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