State authorities confirmed suspicions that a Madison police officer was responsible for the shooting of another officer Oct. 10 and the man arrested during the chase did not shoot at officers.
The shooting took place early on Sunday outside Mondays bar. Officers attempted to apprehend Katoine L. Richardson, 19, who ran when he saw police approaching, and one of the officers was shot in the arm and leg.
MPD officer Keith Brown, an officer on the scene, fired the round, inadvertently hitting another officer, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The Wisconsin DOJ confirmed Monday that Richardson did not shoot the officer.
Richardson’s attorney Stanley Woodard said in court the local press criminalized Richardson before knowing the full story.
Richardson later told an investigator he ran because he did not want to get caught carrying a gun while violating a curfew imposed due to other criminal cases pending against him.
In court on Tuesday, Woodard pointed out the gunshot came from another MPD member — not his client. The Wisconsin Department of Justice said in a news release “during the arrest, a round was fired and an officer was struck,” but did not point to Richardson as the shooter.
Freedom Inc., a Black and Southeast Asian nonprofit organization that works with low-to-no-income communities of color, called for the immediate release of Richardson and said the police statement about the incident led multiple news outlets to criminalize Richardson as an “attempted cop killer.”
“This traumatic experience has forced Katoine back into a cycle of criminalization that is made intentionally impossible for Black youth to escape,” the nonprofit said in an online statement.
In a Facebook post, District 8 Alderperson Juliana Bennett said the public deserves to know exactly what happened and said the MPD caused a “ruckus.”
“I understand if MPD cannot release certain details — however, misleading the public to believe Richardson shot the officer when there isn’t conclusive evidence is unacceptable. Furthermore, we must complete a review of MPDs late-night downtown policy to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Bennett wrote.
The MPD has also faced backlash about the danger in its decision to pursue Richardson on State Street — a crowded street full of inebriated college students.
Candidate for Mayor of Madison Marcus Robert Johnson, who is frustrated with the attempt to cover up what happened, said this situation shows the need for accountability.
“When people protest over tragedies such as Tony Robinson and have their cries fall on deaf ears, it is troubling,” Johnson said. “Now, we have an officer shot, but instead of making this a time to show integrity amongst our police, they have chosen to cover up the truth of the incident.”
All of this comes after a potential increase in the Madison Police Department budget for 2022.
According to the DOJ, the Department of Criminal Investigation is continuing to review the evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Dane County District Attorney when the investigation concludes. A Dane County judge set Richardson’s bond at $15,000 cash.
Johnson said he hopes for transparency from MPD in the future.
“I hope there is not a next time, but if there is I hope the officers involved think about their duty in making the public feel safe, which means being transparent and owning any mistakes made,” Johnson said.
This article was updated at 11:04 p.m. Oct. 19 to remove the name of an officer who was misidentified as the officer who was shot. The name of the MPD officer shot has not been revealed at this time.