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Ex-Milwaukee teacher wants body camera video after arrest

June 28, 2021 GMT
DeShawnda Bailey, who taught special education at Milwaukee Public Schools, stands outside the district's offices calling for answers after she was arrested there. (Rory Linnane/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
DeShawnda Bailey, who taught special education at Milwaukee Public Schools, stands outside the district's offices calling for answers after she was arrested there. (Rory Linnane/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher is urging police to release body camera footage of an altercation that left her injured after school district staff accused her of trespassing when she went to the district’s office to collect pay stubs.

DeShawnda Bailey, who taught special education, spent three days in custody and faces misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Milwaukee Public Schools administrators declined to answer questions about the June 1 encounter. Police have launched an internal investigation. Bailey provided police reports to the newspaper.

The district had already cut contracts with the Milwaukee Police Department in an effort to avoid such escalations, and about six months before the encounter the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission adopted a use-of-force policy that emphasizes de-escalation.

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Bailey said she went to district offices to talk to someone after there was an issue with her employment. The school district claims she resigned May 28, but she says she didn’t. After Bailey was escorted out of the building, she sat outside in a lawn chair and went live on Facebook. That’s when security called police.

In Bailey’s video, Officer Shawn Humitz shows her a no trespassing order and says she has to leave or will be arrested. Bailey says she wants to contact her attorney, and she asks people on Facebook to share her video. Humitz then tells Bailey it’s her last chance to leave and reaches to grab her hand. She says she will go to her car.

“We’re past that,” Humitz said before the video cuts out.

Bailey said police threw and broke her phone. Police reports state Bailey continued saying she was going to leave and refused to put her hands behind her back. The reports state Bailey went down to her knees, and was pushed to the ground and told to put her hands behind her back. She said no and that she couldn’t breathe, according to reports. Bailey said her head bounced off the ground.

The reports say Humitz struck her once in her back, then hit her twice more and cuffed one of her wrists. Bailey was transported to a hospital, where she was cuffed to a bed before being taken to jail. She was held for two nights on a tentative charges of felony battery or threat to police, along with misdemeanor counts of trespassing and resisting arrest.

Bailey has not been charged with a felony.

“I want MPS to explain to me, why were the police called?” Bailey said. “Why couldn’t we have a mediation conference?”

The other arresting officer was Hector Claudio. Humitz declined to comment to the Journal Sentinel and the police department denied a request to interview Claudio. The department said neither has been taken off active duty.

Humitz was also accused of excessive force in a 2006 lawsuit that ended with a $98,000 settlement from the city, according to court documents. In that case, Humitz was accused of punching two men, including a church elder, inside a church.