Monona police to release body cam footage after detaining man during ‘suspicious person’ call

A Monona Police Department patch

MONONA, Wis. — City of Monona leaders have vowed to investigate a Tuesday morning incident where police officers entered a home with their guns drawn and arrested a black man after police received a complaint about a “suspicious person.”

Police responded to a house in the 5100 block of Arrowhead Drive at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday after a woman reported seeing a man sitting in front of the house. She told police the home had been vacant after the previous resident passed away.

Police entered the home with their guns drawn after they reportedly announced themselves and didn’t receive a response.

Law enforcement officials later confirmed the man knew the homeowner and had permission to be there.

Officials said they plan to release the body cam footage from the incident in the interest of full transparency, according to a statement from the City of Monona.

“To our African American neighbors and those that visit our community, please know that we value your perspective and experiences on how we can improve. The fact that this incident occurred in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd and the recent protests across the country regarding social justice only reinforces our need to evaluate how we operate in Monona,” the statement reads. “It has been said over the last few days that we can do better. We can and must do better. All members of our community need to feel safe, valued, and protected, and we commit to making changes necessary to ensure that occurs.”

City leaders said the incident will be investigated by an independent outside organization. The statement also notes that even if the outside investigation determines procedures were followed properly, the incident deserves to be discussed further.

“We understand that our role as leaders of this community means that we must set the right example for others to follow. To this end, we commit ourselves and the resources of the City to the following actions:

  1. Have the incident properly investigated by an independent, outside organization, and carefully consider any recommendations from that review.
  2. Review our Police Department training methods to ensure they eliminate implicit racial bias.
  3. Continue our practice of training officers on use of body cameras and de-escalation practices.
  4. Review Police Department organizational policies and procedures on situation de-escalation and use of force.
  5. Organize a community conversation, facilitated by a professional, on racial biases that exist within the community, and how we can address them.”