Madison police chief Mike Koval held a press conference on the arrest of a young woman, which has sparked protests due a to a video that has gone viral on YouTube
Bystander video shows officers tasering and roughly restraining Genele Laird outside West Towne Mall Tuesday evening. “Force when administered, especially with someone who is motivated not to be taken into custody, can be very ugly,” Koval said.
Koval said the video doesn’t show the entire arrest of the 18-year-old. Laird had allegedly threatened people in the mall’s food court, and displayed a knife. Koval said she was reportedly upset that her cell phone had been stolen.
The chief also said Laird refused to comply with officers’ orders and bit, scratched and spit at them. “It is our obligation to restore order,” Koval said. “That’s what we do.”
The video has sparked protests outside the Dane County jail. The arrest will be subject to internal review with assistance from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department. Laird, who has no prior record of contact with police, faces felony charges.