USA

Student who filmed forceful classroom arrest gives her account

An amateur video showing a Milwaukee university student being wrestled to the ground from her desk by armed police officers has sparked claims of police brutality online. The student who filmed the video on her mobile gives us her account of the story.

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An amateur video showing a Milwaukee university student being wrestled to the ground from her desk by armed police officers has sparked claims of police brutality online. The student who filmed the video on her mobile gives us her account of the story.

The incident took place during an anthropology class at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) on 15 March. The arrested student, identified as Robyn Foster, was charged with disorderly conduct by the police. The university is investigating the incident; it has not been said whether Foster will be expelled.

The video, which Foster was not aware of until it went viral, has provoked accusations online that Foster was treated brutally because she's African American.

“Allegations of her being treated badly because she's black are absolutely sickening”

Anna Bassett is a part-time forensic science student at UWM. She filmed the video and posted it on YouTube on 17 March.

The teacher [Kathleen Foley-Winkler] was reviewing an exam we'd taken two weeks earlier. She told us that questions about individual results would have to wait until after class. But that wasn't what this girl wanted to hear.

The girl went on for 30 minutes; I only recorded the end. She was nothing but rude and she did nothing but swear at us. A student asked her to sit down and she turned round and threw a water bottle. That's when the teacher said she would call the police and report an assault. That's when I started filming.

The police arrived within five minutes. When they came in they were only going to pull out the girl's chair. That's when she lashed out.

I don't think the police took it too far, and I think the charges are fair too. She got off lightly in my opinion. I don't know what the school will do with her though, which worries me. I don't want a repeat of last Monday and I don't want to have to deal with her in general. I've had warnings on my YouTube account about how she's looking for me. If she's in that class, I'm walking out.  

I find allegations of her being treated badly because she's black absolutely sickening. I know for a fact that the police would have done the same to any other student, of any race.

Milwaukee is a school of 23,000 students; we need police, not just security guards. The campus police unit [which comprises 43 full-time sworn police officers] is just an extension of the city police, so they have guns like the rest of the department. I don't know of any incident when they've used the guns on campus. They mainly patrol the campus looking for minor offences; underage drinking, smoking marijuana etc.

There was a march a few weeks ago and 16 students were arrested(incidentally, most of them were white). Some people are saying that the police used excessive force. I think that's why the same people are so angry about the arrest of this girl. However, in general people are leaning more towards the teacher; they think the girl got what she deserved. I've also had people congratulate me for recording the incident."

Foster: “I’m not going anywhere so you gonna have to carry my ass out”

 

 

The arrest happens at 03’00.