Prosecution wraps in trial of Brown Deer officer after March 2016 shooting; witness testifies

MILWAUKEE -- Prosecutors called their last witness Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the trial of Brown Deer Police Officer Devon Kraemer, charged for a March 2016 shooting. On the seventh day of the trial, a man who was on the Milwaukee County Transit System bus before the shooting testified that he saw the entire incident transpire. He said Manuel Burnley, Jr., the man shot by Kraemer, wasn't listening to officers but he also said he didn't see Burnley as a threat in the moments before the shooting.

Derrick Macklin

Derrick Macklin was among those watching the commotion on the bus in March 2016. On the stand Tuesday, he watched as Officer Kraemer and Officer Michael Leeman took Burnley off the bus and tried to arrest him.

"The male officer did a foot technique move, like, he put his right foot between the defendant's left foot and threw him to the ground," Macklin said.

Due to the judge's special order for this trial, FOX6 News cannot show the faces of witnesses.

Macklin testified Burnley wasn't fighting the officers but he wasn't cooperating with them either.

Bus dispute with Manuel Burnley

Bus dispute with Manuel Burnley

Bus dispute with Manuel Burnley

"Did it look to you like something you would describe as war?" Assistant District Attorney Michael Griffin asked.

"No," Macklin replied.

"Did it look to you like he was resisting?" Griffin asked.

"He was resisting because she kept saying 'you're resisting' because he wouldn't give his arm," Macklin said.

Devon Kraemer

Kraemer shot Burnley once in the back while he was on his stomach, leading to the aggravated battery charge on which Kraemer is being tried. Kraemer said she got scared after losing sight of Burnley's arm.

Former Milwaukee Police detective Thomas Fischer, working as a private investigator for the defense, took the stand next and talked about his interview with Leeman about 10 months after the shooting in January 2017.

"Leeman stated a black male had fallen onto his back and that Leeman attempted to roll the black male onto his stomach. As this was occurring, the black male grabbed the neck of Leeman and was now on top of him," Fischer said.

Thomas Fischer

Milwaukee Police Detective Jeremiah Jacks later testified about his interview with Burnley, stating Burnley told him he put his hand in his front pocket to protect his phone as everyone fell to the ground.

"Burnley stated he believes it might’ve caused officers to become fearful," Jacks said. "Burnley also stated he thinks was shot because the cops thought he was reaching for something."

Another MPD detective, Michael Washington, said Burnley was initially arrested after the incident, however, he was never charged with a crime. A spokesman for the district attorney's office did not reply Tuesday when asked if MPD declined to refer charges to the DA's office or if prosecutors made the decision to not charge Burnley.

Officer-involved shooting near 60th and Donna in Brown Deer

Brown Deer Investigator Fernando Santiago testified about the time he spent with Leeman in the moments after the shooting. On questioning from Griffin, Santiago said Leeman never made any mention of having feared for his life.

Leeman testified last week that he thanked Kraemer for saving his life. Santiago noted he wasn't allowed to ask Leeman questions about the shooting because state law requires independent investigations of fatal officer-involved incidents.

The trial will continue Wednesday with use-of-force expert Robert Willis finishing his testimony. Willis was hired by the defense and said Kraemer was justified in her decision to shoot Burnley, who survived the shooting but lost part of his lung.