The city of Milwaukee has settled a civil rights lawsuit filed in 2014 by a woman who was punched in the face and dragged from a patrol vehicle by an out-of-control officer on video.
The video, which was obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, showed Officer Richard Schoen punching Jeanie Tracy, who was visibly angry about her arrest. The officer then proceeded to drag her from the vehicle by her hair, then ram his knee into her stomach in the Milwaukee Police Department garage, following an arrest in 2011.
The officer claimed he had been afraid Tracy would bite or spit on him.
Schoen was initially fired in response to the incident until the police commission decided that beating women merits only a 60-day suspension and reversed its decision.
Mayor Tom Barrett spoke out against the reversal, writing in a statement that the decision “sends the wrong message to the members of the police department and the community.”
“The viciousness that officer Schoen showed in the attack – along with his obvious lack of remorse – makes me very concerned that the next time his attack will be much worse than a mere punch,”Alderman Milele Coggs wrote of the decision.
The reinstatement of the aggressive officer was also met with extreme public outcry and activists and community members flooded public meetings, pressuring the department to terminate him.
Eventually the community won and he was fired once again.
A judge upheld Schoen’s firing from the Milwaukee Police Department last year.
“The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission heard 14 hours of testimony during a hearing, which was open to the public; they rendered a fair and responsible decision. It is unfortunate that the FPC has now reversed that decision! On behalf of the membership of the Milwaukee Police Association and the family of Officer Schoen – we are extremely disappointed in the Commission. The Association will review available options.” Michael Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association wrote in a statement following the officer’s permanent termination.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Tracy would be awarded $100,000 in a settlement over the incident.
The money for the settlement will, as usual, come from the pockets of the taxpayers instead of the violent officer.