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MPD reviewing use of force by officers in arrest of protester

NOW: MPD reviewing use of force by officers in arrest of protester

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Police Department is now investigating a use of force incident where a protester was arrested near 6th and McKinley Tuesday, June 2.

MPD says as an officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, the man pulled away causing both the suspect and officer to fall to the ground. Authorities say there was a brief struggle. Police say they used force to gain compliance. The suspect was on the ground for two minutes and once handcuffed was brought to his feet, according to police. 

The suspect is a 28-year-old Milwaukee man who was cited for disorderly conduct and later released. 

The Public Safety and Health Committee is asking MPD to remove the officer from some duties at this time.

"For the sake of someone’s life, in this moment, while you all are still investigating him he should not be on crowd control,” Alderwoman Milele Coggs, said.

Thursday, June 4 the committee had a lot of questions for MPD on their use of force policy, including preventing asphyxiation.

"It is a trained technique to use the knee and the shin across the shoulder blades of somebody being arrested, to use weight to stabilize, and get them in custody,” Lt. Jim MacGillis, said.

While the technique is used, Lt. MacGillis said putting force on the neck or leaving someone on the ground in this position is not.

"It is a no-no,” Inspector Terrence Gordon said. “You don’t leave your people laying on their stomachs... even perfectly healthy people can be susceptible if there chest isn’t able to rise and fall as they’re breathing.”

Inspector Gordon says preventing asphyxia will be discussed at their training in September. MPD also trains officers to step in if they see an officer using an inappropriate technique. 

"If officers see something out of legality, out of training, out of rules, or an ethical violation... an officer can override regardless of rank,” Lt. MacGillis said.

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