Police and Law Enforcement

Police chief defends officers in arrest at Madison mall

Madison's police chief defended his officers' actions in the arrest of an 18-year-old woman outside a mall that has generated claims of unfair treatment.

Police Chief Mike Koval held a news conference Wednesday after demonstrators gathered outside the Public Safety Building to protest how officers handled the arrest at East Towne Mall. Police said Genele Laird displayed a knife, threatened to kill mall security staff and resisted arrest.

Koval said police have an obligation to restore order. The Wisconsin State Journal reported he has ordered an internal review of the arrest.

A video of the arrest shows Madison police officers struggling with Laird as they took her to the ground to handcuff her Tuesday. Two officers were treated for injuries.