Video shows fired MPD officer shooting bystander by mistake

For the first time, we are seeing body camera video that shows a Milwaukee police officer shoot a bystander by mistake. The shooting, which stemmed from a police pursuit, happened in 2019, but that bystander is now speaking out again. 

The body camera video was not released by the Milwaukee Police Department or by Tari Davis' attorney; rather, by Davis himself – publishing it on his website and telling FOX6 News that he still wants answers. 

It's been two years since former Milwaukee Police Officer Nikolas Zens, according to a Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission document, fired his duty weapon, striking Davis, a bystander. Davis was inside his home near 26th and Auer when an early morning police pursuit on Sept. 8, 2019 ended in his backyard.

"I come downstairs to close the back door, and as I'm coming toward the door, the door pushes toward me," said Davis. "I look up, and I see fire."

Kevin Brown, the man officers were pursuing, had bailed from his vehicle and fled on foot toward Davis' home. Courts documents state an officer thought Brown was reaching for a weapon. When the officer fired his gun, Davis was shot in the stomach by mistake.

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"There's a lot more I’m waiting on that they’re still not being transparent about," said Davis.

Kevin Brown

Davis, who has since filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, said he received the footage in March but recently decided to publish it on his website. Davis said he still wants answers as he waits for the full body camera video.

"I was treated like a suspect," said Davis. "I was handled like a suspect. Everything they did, from shackling me to the bed, detaining my kids, detaining my family, searching my house, I was treated as a suspect."

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The Milwaukee Police Department released the following response to FOX6 News on Monday: 

"The Milwaukee Police Department declines to comment on this matter as it relates to pending litigation. The member engaged in the officer-involved shooting was discharged from the Milwaukee Police Department." 

FOX6 News spoke over the phone with Davis' attorney who had no comment.

Last July, according to court documents, former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales determined that officer Zens violated MPD's Code of Conduct and was "discharged from the department."

Brown – the suspect police were pursuing – was charged and convicted in this case. 

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