MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission has reversed Chief Ed Flynn's firing of Milwaukee Police Officer Richard Schoen. Instead, the FPC gave Schoen a 60-day suspension. But after that, Schoen will get his job back.
Schoen was fired earlier this year for allegedly punching female suspect Jeanine Tracy in the head. Dashcam video from September 2011 shows Schoen punching Tracy several times, dragging her out of a squad car by her hair and sliding her into a trash can on the floor of a police district garage.
On Monday afternoon, the FPC announced it sustained Police Chief Ed Flynn's decision to fire Schoen, but then an immediate appeal hearing began.
Police Chief Flynn defended firing Schoen on Monday. Flynn said Tracy was combative, but said Schoen lost control.
"I believe the video clearly documented an excessive use of force against a handcuffed person," said Flynn.
Schoen told the commissioners he was afraid the woman would bite him and spit on him. The chief said it was clear Schoen just lost control.
"Let me put it this way: if you're in a closed environment and you think you need help getting the person out safely, you get the help," said Flynn.
Flynn said Tracy was in a controlled environment, was not a known threat and Schoen did not have to immediately get her out of the squad.
Schoen said Tracy complained her leg hurt and he wanted to get her help.
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