August 27, 2008
Filmed arrest now subject of $150,000 lawsuit
A lawsuit seeking $150,000 is the latest twist in a case that began back on Jan. 22, when Racine Police stopped a car "for not having a front license plate as well as obstructed vision of the driver."
That traffic stop led to an arrest for cocaine possession ... and a charge of police brutality by witnesses to the arrest.
Nothing came of the brutality charge; squad car video showed three policemen roughly hauling the driver from his car, but after an internal review and an "objective review" by an outside expert, the officers were cleared, their actions described as "within the standards of training prescribed by the state of Wisconsin."
You can see it all for yourself. The Racine Police Department originally posted the squad car video on the city's website on Feb. 14. It was taken down on Feb. 18 by Police Chief Kurt Wahlen, who felt -- we were told then -- "there had been adequate time for those with a sincere interest in reviewing it, to have seen it."
At that time, RacinePost requested a copy of the video from the Police Department, and it was given to us. We didn't post it online then -- agreeing with the chief, as it were -- but now that the issue has again become viable, we posted it this morning.
The driver arrested in that traffic stop, Bilal Gilleylen, claims officers used excessive force. The Journal Times' today said notice of the claim was filed on May 20 -- three months ago. (Is this really the first we've heard of it? Yup. Court reporting ain't what it used to be.) The city has 120 days to respond.