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East Towne Mall Arrest Underscores Tough Job Madison Police Are Engaged In

June 22, 2016

On Tuesday Madison Police needed to confront a most difficult situation that demanded action so to prevent possible injury to others.  In doing so some in the community have again tried to undermine the police and promote their own twisted sense of purpose.

At about 5:15 P.M. police were called to the food court area of East Towne Mall.  Mall security had requested, via 911, help as an 18-year-old black female was “out of control and making threats” including numerous threats to kill the security staff.

Once on the scene police found a highly agitated and animated woman who had thought her phone was stolen.  She had made threats to a fast-food worker and subsequently displayed a knife to that employee.

Police attempted to secure the deranged woman but all efforts were resisted.  While fighting with the police officers the woman spit in one officer’s face.  As a result the officer got saliva in his eyes.  Transmission of bodily fluids in this manner is simply appalling.  The woman kicked and tried to scratch both officers.

For the sake of her own safety and those of others the woman was brought under control outside of the mall through the use of an electronic device.  The woman was arrested and a knife was recovered.  She has been charged with  disorderly conduct while armed, resisting police (causing injury), battery to police officer, and discharge of bodily fluids.

To most people there is no doubt as to what needed to be done to get the situation under control. When someone is acting out in a wild and violent fashion the work to contain that person can look mighty messy.  So the video footage of the Madison police doing their job was soon viral and the uproar was underway in Madison.

A group of protesters thronged to the police station where they insisted that the woman be released and that the police officers be arrested.  (No, that is not a typo—that is what actually happened.)  Would the protesters have instead preferred that the police asked the ranting and threatening woman if she wanted something to eat from the food court so she could have some time so to better plan her threats made to mall security?

The absurdity of how a certain group in our fine city wants to try and shape incidents to mold to their views of racism being everywhere is simply wrong.

First, the facts of the case do not show in any sense police were out of bounds or beyond standard procedures for handling a situation of this type.  Police work can be gritty and not always pleasant to watch.  Doctors performing surgery can be much the same.   But we need people to do the work that must be done to make society run smoothly.  Let us be honest and agree that the situation at the mall needed an abrupt resolution for the safety of all.

Second, the problem with this group of protestors always calling every action racist or police abuse makes it so that real cases of such actions are not taken seriously.  The protestors actually undermine their own intentions by the ridiculousness that played out last night.

I know the rank-and-file citizen and taxpayer in Madison have no dispute with how our police handled their job last evening.  The fact that we have an actual video to show how tough that job is should only further underscore a respect for our police.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2016 12:41 PM

    Thank you, Bill, for your service to the city.

  2. Bill Murphy permalink
    June 24, 2016 12:31 PM

    TIM Gordon, Were you there? Did you witness the entirety of the call? I am guessing not and it is armchair quarterbacking from people such as yourself that stirs the pot in cases like this. As a retired Madison Police Officer I have had to restrain people many times myself. This is a tough job, one that is often thankless and more often criticized by people who have no knowledge of the facts. The amount of training that goes into each MPD Officer is extensive and you know what TIM, sometimes things just go the crap, out of your control and you do the best you can. Can tell me with a straight face, of all the times you had to restrain someone, you never had it go longer or harder than you thought it should? Doubtful. I highly suggest you or anyone who chooses to criticize, to do a months worth of night shift ride-a-longs and see what it is really like. I am so happy I am retired and away from this. To all Police Officers, keep up the good work and stay safe.

  3. June 23, 2016 6:00 PM

    I believe the reason the police were not too successful initially with subduing the demented one is because they were using an extra amount of restraint so they did not get accused of using excessive force. The fact they then had to use the extra force to subdue her was directly caused by not using enough force to begin with. By not taking care of the situation immediately, they allowed her to squirm excessively and then had to use that much more force to get her down. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If she’d had a gun and used it on a bystander, they’d get crucified at because they did not control her quickly enough. If you want to see excessive force, watch “Cops” – they are nowhere near as restrained as the Madison PD.

  4. June 22, 2016 7:25 PM

    I won’t post it here because some might find it offensive, but this puts me in mind of the great Chris Rock’s “How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked By the Police.” And I say this as a formerly misguided (white) juvenile who has had his ass kicked by the police–more than once. And you know what? No hard feelings. As a matter of fact, one of the cops who had kicked my ass for being a smart ass know-nothing saved my father’s life a few weeks later. We are friends now. Far as I’m concerned, I had it coming. Cops have a hard, dangerous job that I for one don’t care to do. Want to make their job harder by getting in their face, especially with a weapon? No sympathy from me.

  5. June 22, 2016 6:13 PM

    So agree with you about the state of chaos that is now Wisconsin. The lowest common denominators took power in the state and have drug the rest of us down with them. Undercutting the UW-System, ignoring our water and air, undermining clean government with the dismantling of the GAB, and the most harsh part was the partisan game plan to divide our citizenry. The fact that there are so many uneducated conservatives who fail to see the game plan of Walker and Company or appreciate the gravity of the problem is that they too are being used as cheerleaders for it all and are not even aware of being used.

  6. June 22, 2016 3:41 PM

    I’m starting to think the country is going crazy, and Wisconsin is in the vanguard. We have Walker for governor, RoJo for a senator, Trump running for president, and a big-city police department that a few militants have turned into a laughingstock. To say nothing of our gun laws and the NRA wanting us to revert to the days of the wild West, where you’ve got to be armed to leave your house.

    I have a good friend who liked to say that he never had problems with the Madison police, “probably because I don’t break the law.” He is, guess what, black.

    The only thing that’s going to come from this craziness is more craziness. I feel for Mike Koval, just like I felt for Noble Wray before him. What a thankless job.

  7. Tim Gordon permalink
    June 22, 2016 2:00 PM

    Clearly she was resisting arrest, had a knife in the mall, may have still had a knife on her, and she needed to be arrested. The issue is why weren’t the officers better skilled at subduing her? I have worked in mental health facilities and had to restrain people many times. With basic restraint training two male officers should have been able to restrain one teenage girl without anyone getting injured, and without using blows and a tazer.

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