By Tim @wkshacopblock
UPDADE 7/5/14: According to records released by Waukesha City Attorney Brian Running: The Settlement was $300,000.
A Waukesha area man finally has closure on what was likely one of the worst days of his life. As discussed previously, Waukesha cop Ryan LaFavor beat Mark Schroeder, breaking his ribs, for trying to check on his own teenage daughter’s well being after a car accident. The PD proceeded to delete the dash-cam videos after watching them 20 times and being requested by the defense. This Journal Sentinel article gives more information:
Mark Schroeder, 54, of Wauwatosa had driven up on the scene of a car accident involving his daughter in June 2010. As he tried to approach his daughter, an officer ordered him to stay away. The officer wound up taking Schroeder to the ground, putting a knee in his back, and handcuffing him.
Two months later, Schroeder was charged with resisting arrest. He denied the charge, and as soon as his attorney requested the dash cam video of the arrest be preserved, it was instead destroyed. Police claimed it was a mistake, but a Waukesha judge accused officers involved of bad faith, and dismissed the charge against Schroeder.
In 2013, Schroeder sued. The case had been set for trial Monday, but earlier this month, an attorney for the city and the several officers named as defendants notified the court that the parties had reached a settlement.
The settlement followed the judge’s denial of Waukesha’s attempt to keep any mention of the video’s destruction from being mentioned at trial. While the city claimed the loss of the video was irrelevant to Schroeder’s claim, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller strongly disagreed.
“The loss of the video is highly probative of the credibility of the defendants’ witnesses. Because there is a vast gulf between the different accounts of the events, the loss of the one piece of evidence that could readily show exactly what occurred is highly suspicious,” he ruled.
Stadtmueller also denied the city’s request that the case be dismissed.
“The defendants continue to assert that there remain no genuine issues of material fact. They are wrong. All of the claims rest upon the factual version of events that occurred at Mr. Schroeder’s arrest and in the following criminal prosecution, including the destruction of the video.” Read more…
Civil Rights Violations For All
But the Mark Schroeder beating is just one of many, mostly undocumented incidents, inflicted by Waukesha police on the residents of our city simply for living here.
A Waukesha man was recently acquitted of possession of pot and a work knife. According to court testimony of Officer David Neill, Jesse I. was walking down the street around 4am. Neill stated Jesse turned his head a little bit upon seeing the cop. He stated due in part to the fact that there was no other foot traffic (everyone else had probably been arrested) he needed to stop and violate Jesse’s rights. Neill’s vehicle had a dash cam system but as you can assume, “it was not operational.” The judge told Officer Neill in open court, “You can’t do that” and dismissed the 4 trumped up charges.
And of course there are the allegations against Sgt. Gregg Satula. He’s accused of going to a local man’s house, off duty, and threatening to put a “bullet in his and his (Satula’s) wife’s head” over an alleged affair. I’m waiting on records of the “Investigation” which resulted from this CopBlock article on the matter.
Then there’s “Officer” Jeremy Bousman. He’s a dangerous vindictive man who has no business in any position of authority. In the featured video he’s seen “stopping up anyone in the area” after reports of theft at a local car dealership. That of course is illegal. At the end of this 1 minute video he admits to dumping evidence in a medical marijuana case. He actually laughs about throwing pot plants in a wooded area adjacent to the police department. There’s no doubt he lacks concern for the constraints supposedly placed on him by the constitution and state law. But Jeremy will be discussed in a future article devoted entirely to him…
I’m sure Waukesha Police would be happy to hear from you on their new Facebook page.