Kenosha Police change radio policies after use of stun gun during arrest

CREATED Feb 26, 2013

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KENOSHA - The Kenosha Police Department is learning from an incident involving one of their officers.

Dashcam video caught officer Brian Ruha using a stun gun on a man, but music from the squad car drowned out the verbal exchange between the man and the officer.

Now, the department is trying to fix the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that police officer in Kenosha have been allowed to listen to the radio while on patrol, but after the incident, the way they respond to calls is changing.

"You really couldn't hear any voices, and the assumption everybody made - I guess I did too - was he didn't warn him as he was walking toward him," said Police and Fire Commission President Ronald Frederick. to TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes.

Ruha faced accusations of using excessive force.

Since investigators couldn't hear what Ruha was saying, it took weeks to exonerate him.

Police Chief John Morrissey told Frederick it's OK for officers to listen to music while on patrol.

"We asked him about the music and he said...the biggest concern is that he turn it off when he got there," said Frederick.

To avoid problems, the department is installing a switch in 45 squad cars that will mute the AM-FM radio when responding to a call.

The way it works is that the officers turn on the squad's flashing lights.

That activates dash cam video and mutes the AM-FM Radio.

"If the music was not on and he had been warning him, he probably was, and we would have heard that," explained Frederick.

Other police departments like Oak Creek and Racine allow officers to listen to the radio with the expectation that the volume would remain low.

Kenosha found a different solution.

"I think it's a great idea," said Frederick.

All cars should receive the new switch by March.