Fired MPD officer appears before Fire, Police Commission, fights for job

MILWAUKEE -- Former Milwaukee Police Officer Richard Schoen, fired after his own dashcam video showed him punching a female suspect in the head, fought to get his job back on Wednesday, November 28th. Schoen appeared before the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, which listened to hours of testimony, and took a look at the dashcam video.

The room full of experts was split on whether Schoen's punches to a female suspect's head were justified. Now, three Fire and Police Commissioners will decide whether Schoen  will be allowed back on the job.

The 11-second dashcam video shows nine-year MPD veteran Schoen punching a woman, and pulling her out of a squad car by her hair. Newly-released video shows officers wrestling the woman to the ground as she was moved from a police garage into the police station. 

The incident was captured in September 2011. Officer Schoen was fired in May of 2012, after Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn determined Schoen's use of force was unjustified.

On Wednesday, Schoen appeared before the Fire and Police Commission, calling the firing unjustified.

The Commission watched the entire 20 minute video captured from the officer's squad car. 

The suspect, Janine Tracy, can be seen uncooperative, swearing and spitting in the back seat of the squad as she was taken into custody. The video shows Tracy stomping her feet before Schoen enters the frame, and appears to strike Tracy before pulling her out of the squad car by her hair.

Tracy testified before the Commission on Wednesday.

"I was did pretty bad. It's amazing it would be even in question like this," Tracy said.

The city is asking that the Commission uphold Schoen's firing. They brought two police trainers before the Commission, who both testified Schoen's actions were uncalled for, an the level of force used was inappropriate.

While the city's witnesses said Schoen lost his cool, both said his actions were not intended to hurt Tracy, but rather, used to gain control. 

Schoen's lawyer called two of his own experts, who said Schoen could not take any risks.

Tracy was never charged with a crime.

A decision is expected on Thursday, November 29th.