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Woman in video allegedly having sex with Madison cop in squad car not a prostitute, chief says

Woman in video allegedly having sex with Madison cop in squad car not a prostitute, chief says

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The woman seen in bystander video allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a Madison police supervisor in an unmarked squad car is not a prostitute, the city’s police chief said Thursday.

The department has cited an ongoing investigation of the Sept. 16 incident in refusing to say who the police employee is or to provide any other information about him, including his rank or even to confirm his gender. During an online press conference Thursday, Chief Shon Barnes also declined to say whether he has been subject to any past discipline.

Madison Police are investigating the officer in this video. The audio has been removed because it includes profanities and unverified allegations.

But in a viral cellphone video of the incident that occurred in a Farm & Fleet parking lot, the man who recorded it, Marcel Scott, repeatedly refers to the woman in the unmarked squad car as a “prostitute.”

Barnes said Thursday that’s not true and that his department takes “the matter of human trafficking very seriously.”

“I can assure the community that the individual involved in this incident has been contacted and that this individual is not, I repeat, is not a prostitute,” he said. “Nor is there any evidence that the individual has a history of ever being a prostitute.”

The police employee was described in a police incident report as an “officer,” but the Wisconsin State Journal has confirmed with a source who requested anonymity in order to speak about the case that the employee is not represented by the city’s police union, the Madison Professional Police Officers Association. Because the association represents all officers on the force but no supervisors, it confirms — as the newspaper has learned independently — that the employee is of higher rank.

The police supervisor has been on paid leave since the department was made aware of the video a few hours after it was recorded and posted online.

Scott said he took the video shortly before 4 p.m. Sept. 16 as he was walking into the Farm & Fleet at 2202 Stoughton Road. He said he noticed the squad car parked off to the side in an area where employees park and saw “white legs pop up in the back of the police car.”

“You could see the images of two bodies,” he said.

Scott walked to the front of the vehicle and saw a person on top of the woman, he said. He described her as in her 20s or 30s with blue hair. He described the officer as an older, bald, Black man with a mustache.

When the people inside the squad saw he was taking video, they stopped what they were doing and the woman began to cover herself. The officer can later be seen briefly getting out of the driver’s side rear door of the squad before getting back in again. Scott said he assumed the officer was planning to get in the driver’s side front door, but then got back in the car as Scott recorded him and climbed over the front seat to get to the wheel and drive away.

Lt. Michael Richardson said in the brief report posted a few hours after the incident that the police department “is taking this matter very seriously and is committed to transparency and upholding the public’s trust.”

A detective with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in the investigation, sheriff’s spokesperson Elise Schaffer said.


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