Flynn: Initial review of controversial OWI arrest complete; case handed over to DA

Matt Montgomery & WTMJ News Team

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn

Flynn: Initial review of controversial OWI arrest complete; case handed over to DA

CREATED Apr. 20, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr. 20, 2012

Click under Associated Videos to see the raw press conference by Chief Flynn

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn is updating the public on an investigation surrounding a controversial arrest back on April 12 near the intersection of N. Water St. and E. Juneau Ave.

Recently surfaced video shows an officer punching a drunk driving suspect in the head while handcuffing him.  "After the arrest we initiated a comprehensive use of force review, that review has not contradicted the main points in our initial statement," spoke Flynn.  

Chief Flynn says suspect Jeffrey Strasser did not complain of head injuries that night, but did have injuries consistent with resisting arrest.  "The only injuries Mr. Strasser reported were scrapes to his knuckles and tops of his hands," said Flynn.  "These injuries were consistent with initial reports that he had kept his hands under his body in an attempt to resist being handcuffed."

However, Strasser later claimed in a phone interview he was beaten.  "I just got the **** kicked out of me," said Strasser.

Flynn says Strasser may be charged, "We have conducted numerous interviews, reviewed hours of video sources, reviewed reports and made referral to prosecutors, the case against Mr. Strasser was present to the DA and handed over to a later date in May."

This claim has been confirmed by the Milwaukee County district attorney's office.  They issued a statement to TODAY'S TMJ4:  "We just began reviewing the case today, but it will be a couple weeks before we reach a decision because we are in the process of collecting additional information."

Flynn told reporters an the initial review is complete, but there will be a further investigation because Strasser has indicated he wants to file a complaint against the officer.

"The internal investigation must focus on two specific issues.  One is the complaint by the suspect and secondarily, whether or not administrative procedures are properly followed during this arrest," said Flynn.

When TODAY'S TMJ4 asked Chief Flynn what the line is between acceptable and excessive force, "Well everything depends on circumstances.  There's a reasonable police officer standard here."

But TODAY'S TMJ4 found two sources which suggest the strikes seen in the video violate city and state training standards.  This type of blow is never to be delivered to a person on the ground.

 

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