Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Two Milwaukee police officers who faced prior misconduct allegations have resigned while under internal investigation for punching a homeless man accused of robbery and dropping him off in an alley on the city's north side, miles from where he was arrested and against the man's wishes.
The two officers, Eric Ratzmann and Eric Fjeld, faced allegations of excessive force, according to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, which reviewed the case and determined the officers' actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges.
"Both members resigned in lieu of termination," Sgt. Sheronda Grant, police spokeswoman, said in an email to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
They're joining the ranks of at least 246 law enforcement officers in the state including six from the Milwaukee Police Department who have quit instead of being fired from 2017 to June 2020, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice database obtained by the Journal Sentinel through an open records request.
Another 147 officers in Wisconsin resigned prior to the completion of an internal affairs investigation in the same time period, according to the state records.
On Tuesday, another Milwaukee officer, Michael Mattioli, resigned from the department while under internal investigation for his actions during an off-duty fight that prosecutors say led to the death of Joel Acevedo. Mattioli has been charged with homicide in that case.
Ratzmann and Fjeld both have been the subject of high-profile misconduct claims but had kept their jobs until now.
Ratzmann was cleared of wrongdoing after a cellphone video showed him pulling a suspected drunken driver from a Lamborghini and hitting him in 2012. Fjeld was among a group of officers suspended for failing to fully investigate a hit-and-run crash that killed a Navy veteran a year earlier.