‘It didn’t need to escalate:’ Body camera captures former politician fighting police

RACINE COUNTY -- A former politician fighting police -- caught on camera. The video from an August 2017 scuffle where fists may have been flying is now being released -- and it includes a strange, often head-scratching series of events between Mount Pleasant resident Chuck Haakma and a police officer.

But as of just a few weeks ago, no one can call it battery. Those charges have been dropped against Haakma, a former village board candidate, after prosecutors initially said Haakma punched the police officer during a scuffle. In a no contest plea made on Feb. 5, Haakma still faces misdemeanor charges of obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.

Police were called to Spring and Ohio in Mount Pleasant after a series of car crashes that occurred because of ongoing construction in the area. If you have not already guessed...

"He was just trying to get into his driveway. The man was blocking it," said Daniel Storm an investigator for Haakma's attorney, Walter Stern.

Storm said Haakma never punched the officer. Storm believes the officer hit his head on the car's grab bar. The punch was not captured on body cameras -- because it fell off while the officer tried to remove Haakma from the vehicle.

If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it is that this whole situation blew up.

"You look at the number of squads -- and Chuck just wanted to get into his driveway. It didn't need to escalate," Storm said.

Haakma will be back on court on Tuesday, March 12 for sentencing on the obstruction and disorderly conduct charges.

Storm is not ruling out a civil lawsuit.

Mount Pleasant Interim Police Chief Matthew Soens issued the following statement on this matter:

"I do agree that Mr. Haakma was combative.  Many times we see people in their worst possible moments which may, or may not be, indicative of their true self.  In this case, Mr. Haakma certainly seemed disproportionately agitated for what the situation warranted.  If he would have simply complied with what the officer was telling him, this situation could have been prevented.  If Mr. Haakma thought he was being treated unfairly he could have later requested to speak to the officer's supervisor to express his displeasure.  We do take those types of complaints seriously, and investigate further to make sure we are providing high quality services to the community.  In this case, I thought our officer did a great job maintaining his composure after he was struck."

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