La Crosse Police Department releases body cam footage, police reports of West Ave. arrest after several inquiries

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – After several inquiries regarding an arrest that occurred early this morning, the La Crosse Police Department is releasing body cam footage and incident reports in the interest of transparency.

According to the department, at approximately 1:18 am a two-officer squad was conducting stationary speed enforcement on West Avenue when a car drove past them at 38 miles per hour.

The officers attempted to catch up to it when the driver turned into the Walgreens parking lot near Jackson Street and stopped abruptly.

The passengers all exited the car.

As the officers pulled up, Officer Plenge immediately exited the squad car, telling everyone they are being detained and are not free to leave.

According to the court ruling, Brendlin v. California, officers can detain all passengers of a motor vehicle that is being stopped until the officer has determined there is no criminal activity.

Three of the passengers complied, but one passenger refused the officer’s request and continued to leave the scene.

Officer Plenge followed the passenger and repeatedly explained to her that she was not free to leave.

The female then tried to enter the store, where the officer attempted to escort her out, taking ahold of her arm.

When she attempted to pull away, the officer responded by attempting to handcuff her, but she resisted.

A Facebook video taken by a bystander and the officer’s body cam shows the scene became chaotic and there was a struggle to gain control of the female.

The department says once the officers were able to handcuff the female, they immediately stopped applying force and attempt to de-escalate the situation.

The female was released on a signature bond at the scene for charges of obstructing and resisting an officer and felony bail jumping.

The driver in the incident was cited for speeding and operating a motor vehicle after suspension.

The La Crosse Police Department will be reviewing additional video of this incident to determine that all officer’s actions were consistent with department policy and training.

You can find the footage and police reports on the police department’s Facebook page, or by clicking here.