Chief Koval addresses the arrest of woman at East Towne Mall

Genele Laird
Genele Laird(NBC15)
Published: Jun. 22, 2016 at 3:25 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)---Madison Police Chief Koval said they are looking into Tuesday's arrest to see if correct measures were taken.

Koval said the Dane County Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal review of the arrest of 18-year-old Genele Laird just outside East Towne Mall.

At a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Koval said the viral video only tells part of the story. He said the video was difficult to watch.

Koval is not releasing the names of the officers involved in the arrest at this time. He says both of them had to be taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Chief Koval said there were three separate incidents where battery to a police officer took place on Tuesday night.

Copyright 2016: WMTV


MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)---An arrest made by Madison Police is being described by witnesses as a use of excessive force.

The arrest sparked protests at the Dane County Jail Tuesday night. The video of the arrest went viral, but has since been removed from a Facebook page.

According to a Madison police incident report, police arrested 18 year old Genele Laird outside East Towne Mall just after 5 Tuesday night.

Mall security says Laird confronted an employee at the Taco Bell in the food court and claimed her phone had been stolen. Police say she made threats to the employee and showed a knife. Police say she spit in their face and tried to kick and scratch them during the arrest.

The video seen by NBC15 shows two officers using force to take Laird down onto a sidewalk and curb outside a mall entrance. They are struggling to handcuff her. During the incident one officer knees and punches Laird in her side several times . The other officer holds her head down on the sidewalk at one point. The video shows an officer using a taser multiple times on Laird's legs.

Two more officers arrive and the four men hold Laird down and eventually handcuff her and take her into custody.

The arresting officers say Laird spit on at least one of them. Madison Police say the officers were taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Copyright 2016: WMTV

Sen. Steve Nass issued a statement on Wednesday in response to Rep. Chris Taylor

“I want to extend my appreciation and support to the officers of the Madison Police Department and all those wearing the badge that serve us daily across the state.  It is sickening to watch Representative Chris Taylor constantly demean police officers by utilizing difficult situations for political motivations.  Even more disgusting is the unbridled willingness of Representative Taylor to play the inflammatory race-card despite the fact that no evidence exists that the race of the suspect played any role in how officers dealt with this suspect, who allegedly threatened to kill at least two individuals while displaying a knife.  The time has come for citizens to stand with law enforcement and resist public officials who insist on injecting new race-based standards into our criminal justice system.”


Rep. Chris Taylor's response to Sen. Steve Nass

“I fail to see how asking for a fully transparent and impartial internal investigation regarding a very disturbing incident in any way demeans the Madison Police Department. It’s ironic that Sen. Nass accuses me of “playing the inflammatory race-card” when the cornerstone of his legislative agenda has been inflammatory race and gender baiting. As the lead author on the offensive race-based mascot bill to playing the Bathroom police with our transgendered community to his comments today, if there is anyone obsessed with race and focused on demeaning people – it is Senator Steve Nass.”