MILWAUKEE -- A Brown Deer police officer charged for a 2016 on-duty shooting went on trial Monday, Feb. 12. The judge presiding over the case has issued a special set of rules for the trial.
Devon Kraemer, 28, faces one count of aggravated battery, use of a dangerous weapon. Jury selection began Monday and is set to continue Tuesday morning.
On March 14, 2016, Kraemer responded to the calls of a Milwaukee County bus driver who said a man was causing a disturbance on the bus. Kraemer and another officer got the suspect, Manuel Burnley, Jr., off the bus and tried to arrest him. Burnley resisted and he and the two officers fell to the ground. That's when Kraemer shot him once.
Prosecutors say it was a criminal act because, at that point, the man was laying on his stomach when Kraemer shot him. Kraemer said she fired the shot because she couldn't see Burnley's left arm and that made her fear for her safety.
Burnley lived, but lost part of his lung and was in the hospital for 12 days with the bullet remaining in his body, according to his attorney, Jonathan Safran.
Selecting a Jury
On Monday, 60 people were summoned as possible jurors; the two sides will whittle that pool down to 14 - 12 jurors and two alternates - that will decide whether Kraemer committed a crime.
Potential jurors were asked a number of questions: whether they knew any potential witnesses, if they have relatives in law enforcement, if they or a relative has been in trouble with the law, and whether they've displayed 'Black Lives Matter' or 'Back the Badge' signs in the past.
The jury selection process will continue into Tuesday. Dee told the jury pool to prepare for a trial that runs through next Wednesday, Feb. 21.
The judge presiding over this trial, T. Christopher Dee, has put into place special restrictions. He has ordered that cameras cannot record witnesses' faces. A pool videographer was ordered to not record images of two Brown Deer officers in court Monday because they were potential witnesses. Dee's order also restricts cameras from recording images of Kraemer and Burnley's relatives.
A separate metal detector was set up outside the courtroom, which is the same room used for former Milwaukee Police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown's trial after the shooting death of Sylville Smith, which prompted violent protests in August 2016. In that trial, a separate metal detector was set up outside the courtroom as well, with benches removed from the hallway.
In convicted, Kraemer faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.