MILWAUKEE — The man shot by a Brown Deer police officer in March 2016 was questioned on Monday, Feb. 19 by the officer’s lawyer — and jurors also heard from the driver of the bus where the incident started.
With Manuel Burnley Jr. on the stand on Monday, the court revisited the fare dispute that led up to the shooting, again playing the surveillance video from the MCTS bus on March 14, 2016.
The driver, Kimberly Richards, flagged down Brown Deer officers Devon Kraemer and Michael Leeman. Video shows they told Burnley to get off the bus. Burnley refused and the officers went to arrest him.
On Monday, Burnley testified he was not resisting those efforts — that he just wanted to get it over with.
“I wasn’t struggling to avoid being arrested. I was trying to get arrested,” Burnley said.
Due to special orders for this trial, FOX6 News cannot show the faces of witnesses on the stand.
As the officers and Burnley went to the ground, Kraemer shot Burnley once in the back. She said she became fearful after losing sight of Burnley’s arm.
“And you did read the whole report, correct?” asked Michael Steinle, Kraemer’s lawyer, referring to the statement Burnley gave to investigators in the days after the shooting.
“I didn’t really look at it. I lived it,” Burnley replied.
Kraemer’s lawyer pointed to inconsistencies in Burnley’s initial statement after the shooting — he said he resisted the officers whereas, during the trial, Burnley said he did not resist.
“My testimony said that I did but, reviewing that tape, looking at that tape again, I didn’t. In my mind, I didn’t resist, no,” Burnley said on Monday.
Late on Monday afternoon, jurors heard from the driver of the bus. Richards said as she remembers it, Burnley did fight the officers.
“He was tossing her around like a Raggedy Ann doll. He was fighting her like she was a man,” Richards testified.
Then, for the first time, Richards saw the video from the bus that day. Prosecutors questioned if that is really what she saw.
“Taking her head and pounding it into the ground? What is fighting to you, as opposed to tussling?” asked James Griffin, assistant district attorney.
“Just what I saw, wrestling on the ground,” Richards replied.
Richards also testified she was fired because of the publicity surrounding the shooting.
“Everything that is going on with this case, it’s bringing too much attention to the bus company,” Richards said.
On Monday, the Milwaukee County Transit System provided FOX6 News with a copy of a letter addressed to Richards last November.
“On several occasions, we have requested that you submit documentation from your treating provider indicating any permanent restrictions that prevent you from returning to your Bus Operator position,” the letter read, “To date, we have not received this information and we can no longer accommodate your ongoing absence.”