"I'm not resisting": Milwaukee man says officers beat him, police dispute claims
GREENFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Tevin Gagliano believes police used excessive force when arresting him in February. He shared the dash cam footage on Facebook, but Greenfield Police said the officers are not in the wrong and did what they were trained to do.
Gagliano was ticketed by Greenfield Police on February 24 for driving with a revoked license. Police warned him, his baby and friend to get a ride home, but about 10 minutes later the same officer saw Gagliano driving.
Gagliano didn’t pull over right away; instead, he put his hazards on and waited to pull into the nearest gas station a couple blocks away. Gagliano claims he wanted to make sure there was surveillance video of the incident.
“I wanted to make sure there were cameras,” Gagliano said.
Greenfield Police said they thought he might flee. Through police dash camera footage, you can hear both the officer and Gagliano swearing.
“What the *** is your problem,” Gagliano said.
“You're not stopping the ******* car, that's the problem,” the officer responded.
Captain Sean Licht said his tone of voice, resistance and failure to stop right away was a warning sign to officers.
“Yelling and swearing at the officers,” Captain Sean Licht said. “They're on alert now because these are all indicators of someone that wants to flee or fight.”
But, Gagliano doesn’t see it that way.
“I placed myself on the car before they even said I was being arrested and then the other officer comes and grabs me and they're both yanking me back and forth,” Gagliano said.
Licht said Gagliano tensed his arms while officers were trying to handcuff him. He said officers put Gagliano on the ground for his own safety because it was stable, but also say Gagliano continued to refuse to put his hands behind his back.
“Reaching in front of his body we don't know if he's reaching for a weapon,” Licht said.
Licht said officers used trained strikes to get him to comply. Through police dash camera video, you can hear Gagliano say ‘I’m not resisting,” while officers were striking him.
“They were hitting me everywhere, kneeing me,” Gagliano said.
But, Licht says there’s much more to the story than the short video on Facebook.
“When you just show a small portion of a video, of an incident, people rush to judgment and say ‘oh my God’ look at those bad police officers they're beating on this guy,” Licht said. “Well, what they didn’t see prior was the subject swearing, tensing up and attempting to pull away."
He said officers did what they were trained to do. As of Thursday night, the video has nearly 30,000 views on Facebook. Gagliano said he wants to bring this incident to light and encourage others to do the same.
“We want everyone to know, you got to do something about this, you can’t stay in the dark and let it happen,” Gagliano said.
Gagliano was charged with Fleeing and Resisting an Officer. He plans to fight those charges.