Flynn says MPD reviewing case of officer striking alleged OWI suspect

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. | Photo: TODAY'S TMJ4 HD

Flynn says MPD reviewing case of officer striking alleged OWI suspect

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Apr 17, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 17, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has released a statement Tuesday surrounding the video of a MPD officer punching an alleged drunk driver.

The video shows officers pulling Jeff Strasser from a Lamborghini on N. Water St. and E. Juneau Ave. for driving drunk last Thursday.  One officer is seen striking the man twice in the head.

According to Flynn's statement:

"Because Strasser's first OWI conviction is more than 10 years old, the current OWI charge is considered a first offense under Wisconsin state law.  The City Attorney's Office has scheduled a preliminary appearance for this municipal violation.  Additionally, the District Attorney's Office will be reviewing state charges of fleeing and resisting an officer.
 
"Drunken driving continues to be a significant threat to the safety of both the public at large and law enforcement officers.  It should be recalled that on December 25, Officer Frank Vrtochnick was seriously injured by a drunk driver, and within the past week, Officers RoseMarie Galindo and Corianna Chisum were injured by a drunken driver who struck their squad car head-on.
 
"The Milwaukee Police Department is conducting a review, as required by its standard procedures, of the police use of force in this incident.  After it is completed and reviewed by the Internal Affairs Division and the chain of command, the conclusions will be shared with the public at an appropriate time.
 
"The Milwaukee Police Department is committed to maintaining high professional and ethical standards.  The Fire and Police Commission has recently issued reports on the use of force by the Milwaukee Police Department showing that only 1% of arrests involve a use of force by a Department member. In 40% of those cases, the subject was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most frequently used type of force is "bodily force only."  Please see the reports by visiting the following links

According to a police statement released last Friday, the driver, also ignored a stop sign, and drove erratically before almost hitting several people in a parking lot.  Also in the statement, "one officer delivered focused strikes to gain compliance and control as Strasser was resisting attempts to place handcuffs on him."

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