Man claims he was beaten by police over gum

CREATED Feb 5, 2013

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  • Video by wtmj.com


MILWAUKEE - Jordon Cain says Milwaukee Police thought the gum in his mouth was drugs and that's why officers took him to the ground. The arrest was caught on tape.

Milwaukee Police held a news conference on Tuesday in response for the I-TEAM'S request for an interview. They have not released the details of the arrest report but the I-TEAM picked it up days ago. There are discrepancies in what's written and what MPD is now saying.

"They both grabbed me and from there I was thrown to the ground," said Jordon Cain.

On the morning of Jan. 26, 2013 Cain pulled into a gas station at 35th and Townsend. The 19-year-old was coming from his scheduled exam to become a fire cadet for the city's fire department.

"I was actually trying to better my life and get a firefighter job," explained Cain.

The I-TEAM obtained a copy of his letter from the Fire and Police Commission congratulating him on his exam acceptance. But that morning Cain was three minutes late and missed the exam.

"From there my day pretty much went downhill," said Cain.

He has since filed a complaint with the same commission after his face ended badly cut and bruised. He was pepper sprayed and taken down by officers during the arrest.

"I'm not really mad, I'm more hurt," explained Cain.

The I-TEAM first obtained this surveillance video from the gas station. The video is fuzzy but it shows Cain walking in to pay for gas. When he comes out the officers approached.

Police say the tags on Cain's car were expired, but What happened after the officers approached Cain is where the differences lie.

"The injury probably occurred as his head was being held down and actively resisting," said Milwaukee Police Inspector Edith Hudson.

But Cain insisted he never resisted officers before they pepper sprayed him. Police reports obtained by the I-TEAM says one officer "observed Cain take a clear plastic bag from his coat pocket and put the bag inside his mouth." He said he thought Cain ingested drugs.

But that officer's partner in the same report state he "did not see a baggie go into Cain's mouth."

When asked by Jermont Terry whether he had anything in his mouth that would make officer think he had drugs Cain replied by stating, "I was chewing Spearmint gum."

The original reports suspect Cain of ingesting marijuana. The same report states Cain admitted to ingesting the drug. Now Milwaukee Police say he also swallowed cocaine too.

"We did not recover marijuana or narcotics at the scene," Hudson said.

In fact, nearly two weeks later police still have not found a trace of any drug in his system.

"We don't have records and information back from the hospital yet," explained Hudson.

She was unclear how long that would take.

"Where are the charges?" Cain said. "I wasn't charged with drugs. I was charged with obstruction and I didn't do that."

Cain is charged with resisting arrest. Police said a witness told them they saw Cain ingest something before the arrest.

The I-TEAM talked to that witness who said officers got his story wrong. Cain has filed a complaint with the police department and city. MPD is conducting an internal investigation.