1395 12 days ago
1395 12 days ago
Two years after being shot by a police officer who was chasing after another man, Tari Davis is demanding more accountability from the City of Milwaukee.
The clip shows the moment the fleeing suspect runs to Davis as he was standing by his backdoor.
The officer, who had been shouting for the suspect to stop and show his hands, runs up to the door where both men stood and fires one shot, hitting Davis in the stomach. Neither Davis nor the suspect were armed.
The officer, Nikolas Zens, who had one and a half years of experience at the time, was not charged by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. But he was fired by then-Chief Alfonso Morales shortly after the Fire and Police Commission issued a directive to release more information about the shooting.
Davis, 43, has since filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, seeking compensation for the physical and mental harm he’s suffered since the shooting. He said the 50-second clip is all the footage the Police Department has released to him.
“I haven’t heard from the city since it happened, period,” Davis said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “No apology, no nothing.”
Around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2019, Milwaukee police attempted to stop a car driven by Kevin Brown, now 24, who was seen speeding through a red light on the city’s north side, according to the criminal complaint.
Brown instead led police on a 14-mile car chase over 19 minutes. He drove without headlights on, ignored lights and stop signs at 24 intersections, reached speeds over 80 miles an hour and at one point rammed his vehicle into a squad car, the complaint said. Police also tried deflating his tires with stop sticks.
Police reported Brown appeared to be using his phone during the chase. Davis said at the time, he was watching a movie with his family when he received a “butt dial” from Brown and did not talk with him. But Davis could hear the chase unfolding outside and realized Brown was involved. The two had known each other for years, and Brown is engaged to Davis' daughter.
Eventually, Brown ditched the vehicle and fled on foot in the Franklin Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee’s north side. Zens, who heard the chase unfold on dispatch radio and drove to the area, joined the pursuit at that point, jumping out of his squad car and following Brown from about 10 feet away as he ran through several yards, according to city documents.
Zens said he believed Brown was armed because he kept his arms in front of him and inside his shirt as he ran, documents said. Brown later told police he had been trying to put his phone in his pants pocket, according to the district attorney's office.
The two rounded a corner when Zens came upon Brown and Davis standing outside Davis’ backdoor. Zens was about 5 or 10 feet away and saw Brown extend his arms outward from under his shirt, which he said made him think he was about to be shot, documents show.
Davis, who could hear the commotion from the chase, met Brown at the door, but the two didn’t have a chance to speak before Zens appeared and fired one round, hitting Davis’ stomach. In the video, Davis falls back into the home, while Brown is seen falling forward and getting cuffed by officers.
“I only got a chance to look at him before the shot rang,” Davis said.
Davis said he was shackled to the bed when he awoke in the hospital.
The Milwaukee Police Department declined a request for an interview, citing Davis’ pending litigation.