APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An investigation by Appleton's Police Department has found that Outagamie County sheriff's deputies did not use excessive force during a traffic stop in July.
The investigation was sparked after an incident on July 27, when 32-year-old Joshua Peterson of De Pere was stopped in a gas station parking lot for OWI.
For nearly 20 minutes, he refused to exit his vehicle and demanded to know his rights. Peterson filed a complaint with the department about excessive force being used when deputies pulled him out of his vehicle at the gas station in Darboy.
Peterson had his head smashed into the ground. He suffered a concussion and a large gash to his forehead.
Outagamie County sheriff's Capt. Mike Jobe tells FOX 11 the investigation found the deputies used a level of force that was reasonable and in compliance with Wisconsin Department of Justice Defense and Arrest Tactics. It also followed sheriff's department policies.
"This means that the incident occurred, but was justified, lawful and proper under the circumstances," Jobe wrote in a news release.
The deputies involved were not taken off active duty.
Both the Outagamie County Sheriff's Department and Peterson declined to talk with WTAQ because of a pending lawsuit.
However, Peterson said this in an email response for a request for an interview.
"I'm not surprised the police ruled in favor of the police. Their "investigation" protocols are clearly set in their favor. Without proper checks and balances these incidents will only continue to rise, as statistics have shown in recent years. Anytime an unarmed citizen is injured or killed during an arrest for a minor infraction, regardless of how obstinate that citizen may be, it should set off red flags. The only thing I've learned from this experience is that I have no rights and the police cannot be trusted. The whole system is a corrupt joke."