RACINE — More information has continued to come to light following the June 15 death of Ty’ Rese West, more than two weeks after Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson announced she would not be filing charges against the police sergeant who shot and killed the 18-year-old.
In her decision, Hanson wrote: “Mr. West made a choice not to comply with the lawful commands of a police officer, his actions put Sgt. (Eric) Giese at a disadvantage that he could not overcome by any other means.”
In the past week, The Journal Times has received a pair of open records regarding the case. West was shot by Giese after a foot chase on the west side of the intersection of 25th and Racine streets, just south of the Racine-Mount Pleasant border.
One set of documents received showed that six people, including West, were stopped by the Mount Pleasant Police Department for riding a bike without a headlight from Jan. 1 through Sept. 24, 2019.
The Journal Times also received more than 19 minutes of audio recorded via the Racine County Communications Center from the night of June 15, including the moments leading up to and after the shooting.
Other records requests filed by The Journal Times, including one asking for Giese’s disciplinary and commendation record, remain pending.
In an email Friday, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Matt Soens said: “The village’s legal counsel is not finished reviewing the request and needs to follow-up before I can send the information. I should have more info early next week.”
According to Mount Pleasant Police Department records The Journal Times received through a public records request, no citations were given to individuals riding a bike without a headlight in 2019, through Sept. 24. However, in that time there were six stops regarding bike riders without a headlight, including Ty’ Rese West.
Most of the stops took place on the southeast side of Mount Pleasant, in the Lake Park and Lakeview neighborhoods, and near where the attempted stop of West was made.
Less than two miles south of where West was shot, 18-year-old Teren Cagle had been killed by a driver while riding his bike without a headlight on Jan. 7, 2019.
The four stops made after the West shooting were all by different officers, while the first two of 2019 (including West) were both by Mount Pleasant Police Sgt. Eric Giese, who is the person who shot West.
1:05 a.m., April 2:
- Giese stops someone near the intersection of Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue, roughly a half a mile south of where West was shot. Their interaction lasted about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
1:33 a.m., June 15:
- Giese first reports trying to stop Ty’ Rese West.
12:22 a.m., July 30:
- Upon seeing an officer, a 6-year-old “upended himself on a bike” in front of Wells Brothers Restaurant, 2148 Mead St. The child was returned home.
2:54 a.m., July 31:
- A warning is given to someone riding bike without a light near the intersection of highways 11 and 31.
1:11 a.m., Aug. 8:
- A man is stopped near the intersection of 24th and Mead streets. He is advised to get lights on his bike. “There was no problem and he is on his way home,” the officer reported.
2:02 a.m., Aug. 10: A mother and three kids are found riding their bikes home on the 2100 block of Mead Street. The officer reports “No issues.”
On July 19, The Journal Times requested audio recording from the Racine County Communications Center Timeline recordings of all audio and dispatch calls from 1 to 2 a.m. Saturday, June 15.
On Sept. 27, The Journal Times received a 19 minute, 23 second audio clip. The clip is shorter than one hour because all the pauses were omitted, the county said.
After hearing the tape, The Journal Times made a second request for additional dispatch tape on Tuesday. That request had not yet been fulfilled as of Friday afternoon.
An audio file of the dispatch tape can be found at JournalTimes.com, with one redaction that removes the mentions of names and birthdates of several minors.
The first mention of West in the recording comes at 12 minutes, 23 seconds. For the first 12-plus minutes, there are calls made sent out to Mount Pleasant officers regarding: a suspicious person walking in the 1200 block of West Colonial Drive with a flashlight, a noisy party in the 4300 block of Green Bay Road, someone banging on a door in the 2100 block of Howe Street and leaving, and a vehicle that struck a deer in the 8200 block of Washington Avenue.
Also heard in the recording, in the moments preceding Giese shooting West, a voice saying “OK” is heard. That voice is not identified and was not mentioned in the district attorney’s decision not to file charges against Giese.
12:23 minutes on the audiotape
Giese: “134, we have a bicyclist on the curve of Highway 32 coming up, 24 on here, on 24th Street.” (134 is Giese’s squad number)
Giese: “Yeah, I don’t know if he is going to stop for me here.”
Dispatch: “10-4. Dispatch to 136.”
136: “En route.” (136 is another officer’s squad number).
Giese: “He’s not going to stop.”
Dispatch: “Copy, are you calling a 10-80 with a bicyclist?” (10-80 is a chase in progress).
Giese: “He’s running, he’s running back.”
Dispatch: “What’s your 20? (pause) Emergency on channel 9.” (20 is a location).
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Giese: Yelling, unintelligible.
Dispatch: “What’s your 20?”
13:28 minutes on the audiotape
Giese: “Got a gun. Drop the (expletive) gun or I’ll shoot you.”
In the background, an unidentified person is heard saying “OK.”
Dispatch: “Copy, he has a 32.” (32 is a person with a gun).
Again, somebody is heard saying “OK.”
Giese: “Send me cover.”
Dispatch: “I’m trying … Dispatch to 129, 123.”
Giese: “Shots fired, shots —“
Another officer: “We’re all en route.”
Dispatch: “Are you injured?”
Giese: “134, I’m fine. (breathing heavily).”
Dispatch: “Where is he at?”
Giese: “134, you copy?”
Dispatch: “134, I’m trying to confirm your 20. Are you on 25th and Racine?”
Giese: “25th and Racine (heavy breathing). Right at the corner. Suspect down (heavy breathing), not breathing.”
Dispatch: “Alright, copy, we have rescue en route. 25th and Racine. Dispatch to all other squads en route. Do you copy?
Giese: “I need some roads shut down here.”
Giese: “I’m on the west side over here.”
Dispatch: “I copy, west side. 134, do you want city (Racine) squads as well?”
Giese: “134 to dispatch, could you call our supervisors and everybody else? I am on the west side. Come back over here.”
Dispatch: “I copy, west side, and we are beginning to call.”
Other officer: “Squads responding, shut down northbound 32 and 11.”
Officer: “What do you need shut down?”
Other officer: “Northbound 32 and 11.”
Other officer: “Copy 103, shutting it down.”
Dispatch: “Copy 103.”
Other officer: “…responding on scene with the big camera.”
Other voice: “Yeah, I’m 10-60” (10-60 is squad in vicinity)
16:04: Reports of other squads responding.
Dispatch: “I copy, are you at the scene?”
Dispatch: “10-4. Dispatch to 134.”
Giese: “Go ahead.”
Dispatch: “We have rescue en route. They are just asking where exactly the victim was shot.”
Giese: “As in, in location?”
Dispatch: “Affirm. Where on his body?”
Giese: “Head, upper torso.”
Dispatch: “I copy.”
17:00 to end: Chatter from other officers responding to scene, taping off the scene.