GREEN BAY – A viral video is what prompted some people to gather outside Green Bay’s police department Friday.
Some think the officer in the video should be fired, while others are supporting his actions and the department.
This handful of demonstrators took to the sidewalk outside the Green Bay Police Department, protesting the actions of Officer Derek Wicklund and demanding the department fire him.
“They think it’s all right to go hands on with a citizen, a taxpayer, voter, for simply mouthing off. You know, getting in their way. You just can’t do that in civilized society,” said Bronson Smith of Green Bay.
Wicklund is the officer seen in cellphone video posted on the Internet last month. Watch the video above to see an excerpt.
Protestors allege Wicklund used unnecessary force to subdue 29-year-old Jeremy Wenzel outside a bar in April.
While the original protest against Officer Wicklund started out in front of the police department, a group of police officers and their supporters gathered just down the street.
“In light of all the allegations that are going on, I think it’s important that they understand that there are people that stand behind them. They do a very difficult job every night. Sometimes people don’t comprehend why they do what they do,” said Jerry Johnson, a retired Green Bay police officer.
On-duty Green Bay police officers stood outside the doors of the station during the protest.
However, they had no comment.
Police are continuing their investigation into last month’s incident.
That investigation was another point of contention between protesters.
“You can’t have adequate investigation of law enforcement when these incidents are being investigated by other law enforcement officers,” said Smith.
“Once the results of that come out, then I would comment on that. But I am confident that there’s going to be favorable results with that,” said Johnson.
Anti-police brutality demonstrators who were here tonight say they don’t condemn all police officers.
They also say they aren’t supportive of the online comments made threatening Officer Wicklund and his family.