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A critical admission by Sergeant Giese in the events that led to the death of Ty’ Rese West was that Sergeant Giese said, “Stop, or I am going to send my dog.” The report states, “Sergeant Giese advised that the threat of the dog was a ruse to try and get Mr. West to stop. Under the circumstances, Sergeant Giese did not believe that there was legal authority to use the dog for this kind of stop.” This seems to be a threat to use excessive force, which would be anticipated to cause great bodily injury, up to and including death. Given the tight 95 second timeline of the incident, it also seems this threat was given within 5-10 seconds on the incident first beginning, and indicates intent.

This threat was, by Sergeant Giese’s own admission, unprofessional and excessive for the situation. Additionally, the threat of great bodily injury, when no basis for such force exists, should not be merely called a “ruse.” The threat, and the refusal to consider it as anything other than a “ruse,” is deeply dehumanizing to Ty’ Rese West, and may constitute a civil rights violation. This threat would have caused significant fear to any person, and especially a teenager, and certainly contributed to his decision to get off his bike and run. Any person would be justified to believe that the next thing that was going to happen once Sergeant Giese blocked his way was that the dog was going to be immediately deployed.

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Chris Kerbawy, Racine

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