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Madison police release footage of response to hit-and-run that led to protests

(NBC15)
Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 4:09 PM CDT
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The Madison Police Department has released two videos from a hit-and-run incident over the weekend that sent one woman to the hospital and led to protests over the department's response later that night.

Protesters

against the use of pepper spray against the crowd who were gathered around hit-and-run victim, whose name has not been released. MPD's incident reports have stated the officers were trying to create space around the woman for the paramedics to treat her.

"Pepper spray was used on one specific individual who was [aggressive with] officers and went hands on with an officer," Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl said.

Many have questioned the promptness of the department's response, with some saying it took as much as 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Prior to releasing the video, MPD laid out a timeline that indicated that the woman was struck at 2:25 a.m. and was being transported by 2:39 a.m.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

for full transparency in the Madison Police Department's investigation and for police to release video from the event.

"We want to make sure we have a very good complete picture of what happened before any charges are made," Chief Wahl said. "We know there were a lot of witnesses out there who may have seen what happened, and those are folks we'd like to talk to; so people who saw what happened should reach out and contact us."

MPD says they have identified a person of interest in the hit-and-run and they are still investigating.

OFFICERS ARRIVE

According to the police department, one of the videos shows the first officers' response to the scene, near the University Ave. and Frances Ave. intersection, around 2:30 p.m.

Starting while the cruiser is parked behind another officers, the clip, which is less than two minutes long, shows the officers getting the call and follows both vehicles from when they departed through their arrival at the crowded scene, while they were trying to locate the victim.

"I think it's clear that the officers behaved appropriately and did a remarkable job of dealing with a very challenging situation with a large crowd some hostile people," Chief Wahl said. "They did an excellent job of providing medical care to the victim and making the scene safe so that paramedics could get in there in a matter of minutes to treat and convey [the victim] to a hospital."

The Madison Police Dept. described the video as showing:

A BIRD'S EYE VIEW

The second - much longer - video provides a split-screen look at the scene of the hit-and-run from right after it happened through when the victim had been taken to the hospital and officers began their investigation, according to police.

At the beginning of the 15-plus minute, synchronized clips, the large crowd, estimated to be more than 100 people are seen gathered near Wando's. Approximately two minutes into the video, an MPD cruiser cuts through the crowd and stops. Shortly thereafter, the victim is carried across the street and the officers are seen trying to offer aid, while other people also are gathered closely around her.

By this time one of the street cam's is looking straight down at the group.

It is during this time - at approximately the five-minute mark - that an officer apparently deploys OC spray to clear space around the victim.

MPD has previously said it was done "to create space to allow Madison Fire Department paramedics to enter the scene and treat the victim."

Following the confrontation, an ambulance arrives to take the victim to the hospital and officers appear to begin talking to witnesses about the incident.

The Madison Police Dept. described the video as showing: