Court case looks at Green Bay police officer's use of force

Green Bay Police Department
Green Bay Police Department

GREEN BAY - In Brown County court, Green Bay Police Lt. Chad Ramos testified the punching you see in a November dash camera video is a trained move, called a focus strike.

“For layman's terms it's a punch, it's a strike,” said Ramos. “The purpose for using and utilizing a focus strike is we're trying to create some dysfunction and you're trying to create some pain. The reason you're doing that is you're met with an individual that is continually resisting.”

In the November incident, you can see a Green Bay police officer punching 21-year-old NeeGee Cloud approximately ten times while trying to arrest him.

Police were responding to a call of a person with a gun inside Coaches Corner in downtown Green Bay.

Police say they thought Cloud was going for a gun. However, after punching and tasing Cloud, they found he did not have a gun. Police did find a pellet gun on another man.

Ramos says his department reviews between 10 and 20 cases a month where officers use force, roughly between 120 and 200 a year. In the past year, Ramos says no Green Bay police officer was found to have used excessive force. However, in Ramos' opinion, in about 10 to 15 percent of the cases, the officer's actions could use polish.

“We still have to make sure that we challenge our officers to understand all of the use of force available to them and I will also submit that I have also remediated officers on not using enough force and waiting too long,” said Ramos.

Ramos says officers are trained to use force by conducting what he calls a heightened threat assessment. He says indicators are the possibility of a person being intoxicated or having firearms.

Ramos says in the November case, both of those indicators were there. Plus, he says Cloud didn't follow officer's instructions in a timely manner.

Cloud claims he did not resist arrest.

In court, the jury wasn't deciding whether police used the right amount of force. The jury's task was to decide whether Cloud was guilty of arrest, which they agreed he was.

“I think when cases like this resolve in this way, it's sending the message to the police that their conduct, the aggressive, over-the-top behavior, is going to be tolerable,” said Cole White, defense attorney.

“I think ultimately the jury agreed when they saw the whole picture that the officer's use of force here was objectively reasonable,” said John Luestcher, the prosecuting attorney.

Cloud is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the month.

The jury also convicted Cloud of possessing marijuana paraphernalia. He now faces around $10,000 in fines and up to 10 months in jail.