Target: Madison Police Chief Mike Koval
Goal: Release and drop all charges against 18-year-old beaten, repeatedly tasered, and bagged by police officers.
Cops were caught on video beating an 18-year-old woman, repeatedly tasering her while she was handcuffed, and putting a bag over her head while she lay face down on the concrete after saying she couldn’t breathe. This brutal display outside of a mall in in Madison, Wisconsin was justified by a claim from mall security that the victim, Genele H. Laird, got into an altercation with another mall employee and brandished a knife.
Even if these allegations are true, it’s completely inappropriate an uncalled for to treat a teenager this way, especially considering the fact that she was unarmed in the video. The young woman can be heard repeatedly pleading and crying out as the cops knee her in the ribs and punch her, then screaming as they taser her in the side and legs. The cops claim she scratched at them, but it’s clear in the video that her arms were completely restrained when they started beating her.
Ms. Laird is now in custody and being charged with resisting arrest and causing injury to officers. This is alarming considering the recent reports of black women mysteriously dying in police custody. Thankfully, the Madison Police Chief Mike Koval has ordered an internal investigation into the incident, but these types of investigations can hardly be called impartial. Sign our petition to demand that Laird be immediately released and all charges against her be dropped.
Dear Chief Koval,
The video currently circulating of your police officers beating, repeatedly tasering, and putting a bag over the head of Ms. Genele H. Laird is incredibly disturbing. As you likely know, this young woman can be heard screaming in pain and saying “I can’t breathe” repeatedly in the video as the officers continue to abuse her. They then put a bag over her head for reasons I cannot understand.
I know that you’ve launched an internal investigation, but history has shown that these tend to be incredibly biased as any police department certainly has reason to protest its own officers. More needs to be done in order to ensure that justice is achieved for this teen. It’s also alarming that she’s been taken into custody based on charges of resisting arrest and injuring officers as there have been increasing reports of black women suddenly and mysteriously dying in police custody. I do not believe that Ms. Laird is currently safe.
Such a reaction to a minor altercation allegedly involving a knife not seen on the video is unacceptable. I have a hard time believing a white person in the same situation would have been treated so badly. I demand that you order the immediate release of Ms. Laird and see that all charges against her are dropped.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: All Nite Images