Wauwatosa Police: Use of force justified in arrest of 17-year-old at Mayfair Mall

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wauwatosa Police launched a use of force review after video showing a 17-year-old arrested at Mayfair Mall began to go viral.

During their review, Wauwatosa Police have ruled that the officers were justified in their use of force.

Wauwatosa Police released a few key points of their use of force review:

  • The officer told the subjects to stop numerous times and they refused to comply
  • The officer attempted to detain one of the subjects, however, the male pulled away from the officer and a physical struggle began.
  • The officer attempted to decentralized the suspect to get him on the ground and control him.
  • The male exhibited assaultive behavior towards the officer by wrapping both of his arms around the officer's waist, then attempted to take the officer to the ground
  • Based on the suspect's assaultive behavior and continued resistance, the officer struck the suspect in the face
  • After the officer struck the suspect, the suspect went to the ground and the officer de-escalated
  • The officer then used his body weight and arms to try to control the male
  • When the male attempted to get up multiple times and continued to resist the officer's control efforts, the officer struck him again.
  • The male then complied with the officer's control efforts and the officer again de-escalated.

Wauwatosa Police also say that the 17-year-old was not injured in the arrest. According to police, he also apologized for his actions and stated that he understood why force was used and that he should have stopped when instructed to do so. 

"Anytime there is a use of force, it is NEVER a pleasant interaction, whether you are the officer, the offender, the witness or the viewer," Barry Weber, Chief of Wauwatosa Police said in a statement. 

The Wauwatosa Police Department has received written notice of intent to file a civil lawsuit from an attorney representing the family involved in the case. 

The legal team representing the family involved released the following statement to CBS 58 News,

"I am happy to have seen all the information disclosed by the police department and am hopeful that such transparency continues into the future. The public obviously has a right to know about the conduct of the people that it employs, including any prior or future incidents in which any police officer uses such force as was used against my client. In his case, the use of force went viral thanks to amateur video recording; but that will not be every case. Only through such transparency can there be accountability. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The video in my client's case speaks for itself. And it speaks loudly. At this time, the family continues to hope that its privacy will be respected."

To read the full use of force report, see below.

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