WEST ALLIS (WITI) — A tragic incident is caught on video surveillance. Now FOX6 News has the video captured inside a West Allis food mart on the day customers restrained a teenager they say they saw shoplifting. 16-year-old Corey Stingley died after that incident.
The West Allis Police Department released the video on Tuesday, January 14th. It shows Stingley in a teal hoodie in the VJ’s Food Mart on December 14, 2012.
A police report points to the time when Stingley is seen putting six small bottles of vodka in his backpack. You see Stingley being confronted by the clerk as he tried to pay for another drink. Stingley is seen reaching for his debit card and then running. In the upper part of the screen — you see a struggle as three men stop Stingley.
While most of the struggle is out of camera range, police say Stingley punched one customer in the face. That customer said he briefly put Stingley in a choke hold. Stingley ends up going down.
The struggle continues on the lower left of the screen. One customer is seen putting his knee on Stingley’s back to restrain him. Police arrived minutes later. Stingley was not breathing and had no pulse. While police and paramedics were able to revive him, the 16-year-old later died.
On Friday, January 10th, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ended a lengthy investigation. The result — no charges for the three customers involved. That isn’t sitting well with Stingley’s father and some community activists who are planning protests this week.
“He’s a kid. He’s not a 250-pound 35-year-old man. Doing the right thing is calling law enforcement. It’s not doing the right thing by putting yourself in the place of law enforcement. That’s exactly what these people did,” said community activist Michael Wilder.
District Attorney John Chisholm says he would not be able to legally prove who is responsible for Stingley’s death. He says there was absolutely no intent to kill the teen.
“Their goal was to intervene and hold him until police arrived. They were restraining him after what was initially a violent encounter. I can’t make charges based on popular sentiment. It’s got to be based on the facts. It’s got to be based on the law and what we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If I apply any other standard, I’m not doing my job. I’m standing by that decision, and accept any criticism that comes along with that,” said Chisholm.
On Monday, Corey Stingley’s father said this was a crime against humanity. He says there will be a news conference Wednesday.
All three customers who restrained Stingley denied FOX6 News’ request for an interview.