Family asking city for $2.8 million over use of force in June 3 arrest

Surveillance image of June 3, 2019 arrest.
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- The family of a teen who was arrested by Madison police officers in June is seeking $2.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages from the City of Madison.

On Sept. 20, the Madison Police Department released its findings from an internal investigation into allegations of excessive force in the June 3 arrest. According to the Madison Police Department, a 17-year-old male was dealing with a mental health crisis and officers were called to his home to place him in protective custody.

Portions of the incident were caught on a home security camera. The video shows the teen being forced onto a couch. According to police, the teen did not comply with orders and one of the officers applied a spit-hood and punched him to end his resistance.

MPD announced the tactics used were legally justified and a peer review by the UW-Madison Police Department reached the same conclusion. UW-Madison Police Department suggested alternative strategies could have been used in the situation.

A week after the findings were released, the attorneys representing the teenager and his mother filed a $2.8 million claim with the city. If officials reject the claim, the attorney said they could file a lawsuit for the damages.

According to attorneys with Giesen Law Offices, they "vehemently disagree with the Madison Police Department that beating this young boy was “objectively reasonable” and will vigorously pursue all available legal remedies on his and his family’s behalf."

The claim states the teen had physical and emotional pain and suffering and the June 3 incident aggravated pre-existing disabilities. According to the claim, the teen suffers and will likely permanently suffer form post-traumatic stress disorder. Attorneys said the mother also suffered emotional trauma and stress from the incident.