“Basically, there was a police pursuit on October 10th, 2021, and there is video evidence showing the individual identified as the defendant running down state street, and a number of officers having to accost him and subdue him.”
That’s Dane County Judge Nia Trammell, ruling in a preliminary hearing this morning there is enough evidence to charge Katoine Richardson with a felony.
It’s the latest in an incident earlier this month, during an altercation on State Street that resulted in the shooting of a Madison police officer on October 10th.
But what exactly happened in the October 10th incident remains unclear and under investigation. Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced that the unnamed officer who was shot was shot by another Madison police officer — while chasing a suspect who they suspected of breaking bail conditions.
In the days following the incident, local media falsely reported that Katoine Richardson had shot the officer, despite the initial police report saying only that an officer had been shot.
Attorney Stan Woodard, who is representing Richardson, tells WORT that this was irresponsible both by the media and the police department for releasing a vaguely worded statement.
“The way it was put, the sentences did not directly implicate that my client, Mr. Richardson, shot the police. But the juxtaposition of the sentences, an officer was shot and then Richardson was found with a gun, and that was it, and then it went on to describe other things that had happened. Well the newspapers took that and assumed that it was Richardson who had shot the police, cause there was nothing else in there. Which they should not have done,” said Woodard.
In a hearing this morning, Dane County Judge Nia Trammell heard arguments over whether there is enough probable cause to proceed with a felony charge for Katoine Richardson. For now, Richardson is charged with resisting an officer and carrying a concealed weapon, as well as violations of bail from unrelated incidents.
The courtroom this morning was packed with members of Richardson’s family, as well as members of local activist groups, including Freedom Inc, Freedom Act Now, 350 Bail Out, the BIPOC Coalition, and Allies for Black Lives.
District Attorney Ismael Ozanne only called one witness in this morning’s hearing: police officer Edward McKinley, who has been on the force for a year and a half and who, like Richardson, is Black.
In his testimony, McKinley said he charged at Richardson when he saw a glimpse of a gun. He testified that he struggled with Richardson over the gun, and that it did go off as they grappled.
But it’s still unclear where that bullet ended up, and whether it has even been recovered. Neither party this morning asked McKinley, the sole witness called, whether there were other shots and which shot struck an officer.
An initial criminal complaint was filed two days after the incident, on October 12. Officer McKinley, today’s sole witness, is not mentioned anywhere in that complaint, but an alleged description of events from two other police officers is included.
In the complaint, one police officer, Sergeant Nathanial Lujan, alleges that he was monitoring cameras on State Street, when he recognized Richardson from QUOTE past professional contacts UNQUOTE. He then checked the conditions of Richardson’s bail, found that he was out past his curfew, and signalled to police officers to detain Richardson.
Yesterday, local activist groups and family of Richardson held a protest to demand the release of Katoine Richardson. Ananda Deacon is a community organizer with Freedom Action Now, which helped organize the protest.
“Kaitoine should not be in jail right now. No Black person should be in jail right now. Katoine is one of several Black youths that the system has overpoliced, brutalized, and made to feel worthless. Madison is one of the worst places for Black people to live. Again and again, the city shows us that Black people can’t wear pieces for protection… he was walking home after work when he was spotted on surveillance footage…. Heavily indicating that Katoine is an attempted cop killer,” said Deacon.
Richardson is currently being held in the Dane County Jail. At the request of public defender Stand Woodard, Judge Nia Trammell lowered Richardson’s bail, for a new total of $11,000.
DA Ismael Ozanne had originally requested $50,000, in cash.
Richardson’s attorney, Stan Woodward, says details will come as the case proceeds. He added that help from the community in meeting bail, in addition to the lowering of the bail amount, is a good thing.
District Attorney Ozanne says more charges could be filed in this case. He directed WORT to the initial criminal complaint on follow-up questions.
The Department of Justice and Madison Police Department refused to further comment on this story.
Image Courtesy: Chali Pittman / WORT News