Police Abuse

Milwaukee Cop Who Punched Handcuffed Woman in Face Reinstated Thanks to Police Bill of Rights

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Milwaukee Cop Richard Schoen was fired in May of this year after his superiors saw a dashboard-camera video that shows Schoen climbing into the backseat of his cruiser to repeatedly punch a handcuffed woman in the face. He's now getting his job back despite the objections of Milwaukee's police chief and mayor. 

According to a FOX 6 story published upon the video's release, Schoen arrested Jeanine Tracy for being "argumentative and us[ing] profanity" during a traffic stop. While in the backseat of the police cruiser, she yelled and stomped her leg, complaining that it hurt.

Upon arriving at the station, Schoen tried to pull Tracy out of the backseat of his cruiser by her shirt. When Tracy refused to move, Schoen went around to the other side of the car, climbed into the backseat, and began punching Tracy in the face. Schoen then dragged her out of the backseat of his cruiser by her hair. All of this was captured by Schoen's dash cam. (What was not captured, the department says, is Schoen kneeing Tracy in the stomach after getting her out of the car.) 

Department higher-ups wasted no time firing Schoen for his behavior. 

"The evidence was very strong and there was no reason to delay," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn told FOX 6 in May. "We took appropriate action, and now it will be in the hands of the review authorities."

Ah yes, "review authorities." Wisconsin, like almost every state in the country, has a special bill of rights for cops (read more about Police Bill of Rights here). One of the privileges it provides officers is a mandatory review of their termination; in this case, by Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission. And do you know what that review concluded? That Schoen gets his job back.

From yesterday's report by Milwaukee's NBC 4

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office told TODAY'S TMJ4 they got the case last year and they also consulted with the U.S. Attorneys office.

Both decided that no criminal activity took place.

One of three commission panel members voted to fire Schoen.

The others voted to suspend him for 60 days.

City officials are understandably upset: 

"They got it wrong," said Alderman Willie Hines, who can't believe the decision.

"I think it sends a bad message both to the community and to the members of the Milwaukee Police Department," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  

"This type of behavior should not be tolerated."

Barrett backs the chief's call and thinks the commission should have, too.

"They've got a difficult job and they're making some difficult decisions, but i think this is a case where they got it wrong," said Barrett.

If you live in Milwaukee, the comission's verdict says you aren't safe from your own police department. If you work for the Milwaukee PD, this verdict says not only that you are exempt from internal rules for handling suspects, but also that your boss–the chief of police–is impotent, and that the rule of law does not apply to you. Those are pretty terrifying messages to be disseminating in a city that's still reeling from an investigation into a group of cops who routinely sexually assaulted suspects in order to plant drugs

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  1. The world is really run by space aliens that use public unions as part of psychology experiments to show the effect on humans that occurs when you eliminate all consequences for bad behavior.

    1. Huh, what? Just because we believe humans should be civilized doesn’t mean that humans are civilized. It takes longer than 2000 years to break 25,000 years of behavior.

      1. As my dad likes to say, we’re three steps out of the cave with a lot of toys.

        1. I like your dad.

        2. As my dad likes to say, we’re three steps out of the cave with a lot of toys.

          How’d you get out of the cave?

      2. Did I need to add a smiley-face or a slash-irony tag for you?

        1. A smiley caveman would be appropriate.

          1. Seems like a reasonable request.

            1. Troglodytes smile too.

  2. And nothing else happened.

  3. Department higher-ups wasted no time firing Schoen for his behavior.

    I’m impressed, but the cynic in me wonders if this was partially because they knew he’d get his review. I hope not.

    1. With back pay?

      1. Of course with back pay, what are you some kind of cop hating psychopath? That man has a family.

        1. Dumb ass pig should have been thinking about his family before he went all GESTAPO on his prisoner.

    2. A city sheriff where I lived tried to clean up the department by firing the worst of the shitty dirtbag cops on the payroll.

      Of course they were all reinstated with back pay after “review.”

      It’s like public schools trying to get rid of crappy teachers. Eventually they stop trying. The best you can do is to be very careful about who you hire.

      1. And be careful about where you live, in case you have the misfortune of having to deal with cops or teachers.

      2. Of course they were all reinstated with back pay after “review.”

        The sheriffs mysterious disappearance soon after is still under investigation.

    3. Of course that’s the case. The function of these review boards is to relieve police department and municipal administrators of the responsibility and liability for actions of individual policemen. As soon as they had it over to “independent” “third parties” they are cleansed and cannot be further inconvenienced.

      1. This is why there should be civilian review boards. As is in actual civilians, not former cops/bureaucrats.

        1. Cops are civilians, don’t feed the cop v. little people rhetoric.

          1. Yeah, no shit. Everyone here knows that, but thanks for addressing the actual point of my post.

    4. The next time such policemen are involved in a suit, the PD and municipality (ie the taxpayers) ought to be off the hook for damages.

  4. I think it’s obvious that this beating was only justified if she was holding out on alt-text.

    1. That’s better.

  5. What’s the worst that could happen if they refused to take him back?

    1. He goes to court, and either gets an order to reinstate him, or damages. His court costs, naturally, would be covered by the union.

      1. And guess who gets the bill for the damages…

      2. Are judges in Wisconsin elected? I can’t see them ruling for him after this.

        1. A judge in Milwaukee who does what the unions want is in no danger of losing his seat.

      3. Sure. But the union hates paying out for lawyers. Everyone who has ever had a fight with a union knows that making them spend money on lawyers is the best way to fight. You’d be surprised how often the union becomes very disinterested in fighting for their member’s rights when it involves paying a lawyer.

  6. If a cop can be fired for punching a handcuffed woman, the ability of policemen everywhere to exercise flexibility and discretion in keeping the peace will be negated.

    1. Really. Do you people want this cop to have to second guess his decisions? The important part is he made it home to his family that night.

    2. The logic dunphy likes to use would suggest that if a “civilian” beat up someone, the government wouldn’t come in and take away their job without due process, and that a cop getting fired is the government coming in and taking away his job.

  7. She’s lucky she stopped resisting, or he may have beaten her to death before taking his long paid vacation.

    1. Lawlessness is the inevitable result when the administration of justice is monopolized.

      This argument cannot be broken.

      1. Lawlessness is the inevitable result when the administration of justice is monopolized.

        There, now it can’t be broken.

      2. There’s no monopoly on the administration of justice now.

        1. There’s no monopoly on the administration of justice now.

          There is a monopoly on the administration of unjust legislation, which is not to be confused with justice.

  8. He’s now getting his job back despite the objections of Milwaukee’s police chief and mayor.

    They should put him on “special duty” and make him ride around on a pink 35cc Vespa all day wearing a dunce cap. No penalties for throwing dog shit or rotten vegetables at him as he rides by.

    1. Isn’t that roughly the equivalent of what Mao imposed upon Deng Xio Ping?

  9. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office told TODAY’S TMJ4 they got the case last year and they also consulted with the U.S. Attorneys office.

    Both decided that no criminal activity took place.

    Rule of Lawz, FTW!

    1. We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us

    2. I’d love to read that memo. I wonder what law is on the books in Wisconsin that immunizes police from criminal charges when they beat handcuffed suspects.

      1. I’d bet there’s something about extenuating circumstances and combative suspects that is vague enough to cover anything it needs to.

      2. The one that allows cops to use “reasonable” force, with “reasonable” being defined as whatever the cop deems appropriate at the time.

        1. I think sarcasmic nailed it.

        2. Too bad we don’t have a system where a dozen or so impartial members of the community could provide a second opinion on what is or is not a reasonable use of force.

          1. They aren’t out there selflessly risking their lives for the community!

            They don’t understand the stresses of the job!

            They haven’t gone through the training that an officer goes through!

            How would they know what is or isn’t reasonable?

            They couldn’t!

            /average cop

      3. I wonder what law is on the books in Wisconsin that immunizes police from criminal charges when they beat handcuffed suspects.

        The “Shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you” statute, subsection 4, paragraph 9.

        Other relevant legislation includes the “Do you wan’t me to curb stomp you, then go rape your wife while you bleed out from the sockets where your jaw used to be attached, you peon piece of shit. Now shut up and pay for my pension, bitch” Act Of 1969.

  10. ride around on a pink 35cc Vespa all day wearing a dunce cap

    Meter maids do not appreciate your sense of humor. They also don’t want some monkey from the PD in their territory.

  11. Just give him a part-time desk job. Leave him enough rope to hang himself and get rid of the idiot.

    1. Milwaukee has some nasty neighborhoods. Put him on foot patrol there, with a GPS tracker so he can’t just hole up in some coffee shop.

      The timing is right; its about to get really fucking cold for the next several months.

      1. Great idea. Then he’ll just shoot the first person to give him any lip, so he can get yet another long paid vacation before doing it again.

        1. Yes, but who are you pulling for in the Heisman?

          If there ever was a defensive player who deserves it, this is the year.

          GO MANTEI!

          1. Charles Woodson. Even sloopyinca liked Woodson.

        2. Did I say he would get a gun?

          No, this is “community policing”. Nightstick optional; lapel-cam mandatory.

          1. Isn’t that a violation of police principle #1?

            OFFICER SAFETY!

  12. I have a friend who keeps trying to tell me you “just have to keep good records” and firing somebody in a union is no different than firing an at will employee.

    I guess this proves it.

    1. Your friend is an idiot. But I bet you knew that.

    2. Yup. Because my buddy who walked into the dark control room with guys laying on consoles with their shoes off and snoring couldn’t fire them because he couldn’t prove they were sleeping. That is, no bs, what the union rep argued.

    3. Hahahaha. I was involved in a dispure with a union regarding an employee (union) who threatened the lives of his supervisor and senior management. He had had a history of disciplinary problems and safety related errors, all documented in his file. He ended up getting back pay for the four weeks he was off work for psych evaluation. The company hired a security contractor for probably about $200k to provide armed guards at some managers’ houses for about a month. I hear he just retired with his full pension recently.

  13. I imagine the “review” went something like this.

    Board: “Did she deserve it?”

    Officer: “Yes.”

    Board: “Thank you, that is all.”

  14. Schoen arrested Jeanine Tracy for being “argumentative and us[ing] profanity” during a traffic stop.

    What!? So, he arrested her for speaking? If there is actually a law against speaking in Wisconsin, I think someone could have a pretty good First Amendment agrument. If there isn’t such a law, then kidnapping charges should be added to the battery charges that should be (but won’t be) brought against Occifer Douchenozzle.

    1. He arrested her for contempt of cop.
      A crime punishable by a good beating and a night in jail followed by charges being dropped.

  15. By no means do I think that somebody who knows how to pull off a swatting without getting caught should report a hostage situation a Richard Schoen’s house.

    1. No. Just… no.

  16. So there really isn’t any thing, any one, or any law to protect us from the pigs? Kinda makes you wish for the zombie apocalypse so you can hunt down some of these cowardly cocksuckers without any consequences, the lack of which they get to enjoy today.

  17. Thanks, I was having another lousy day in an altogether lousy week already.

  18. Thanks, I was having another lousy day in an altogether lousy week already.

  19. ITs worthless P O S cops like this I jsut LOVE to hear about in the news getting clipped int he line of duty. Lowlife P O S.

    http://www.IP-Hidden.tk

  20. Ah yes, “review authorities.” Wisconsin, like almost every state in the country, has a special bill of rights for cops

    See? Higher standards!

  21. Can’t the police chief assign him to something like Pawn Shop desk or something? Maybe put him on the bomb squad?

    1. It used to be that fuckups like this got put on the Vice Squad and used to bust gay bath houses.

  22. How many of the people on the commission have ties to the FOP?

  23. Wisconsin is a generally screwed up state, so no big surprise.

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