On March 14, 2016, Milwaukee police officers Devon Kraemer and Michael Leeman entered a bus after the driver stopped, honked her horn and said that Manuel Burnley Jr., 28, was arguing over his fare. The bus driver wanted him off the bus. Reportedly, Burnley was told to exit the bus, but he would not leave until his $3 bus fare was returned. Allegedly, he was pulled off the bus, and the two officers and Burnley Jr. fell to the ground. Devon Kraemer, who is a white woman, claimed she feared the 28-year-old was “reaching for a gun,” according to USA Today. Kraemer shot him in the back, but he survived and claimed Officer Leeman called him the N-word after he was shot. Burnley Jr. was hospitalized for 12 days and lost part of a lung, however, the bullet remains in his body.
Kraemer had a two-week trial for aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm, while armed with a dangerous weapon, and she faced up to 15 years in prison. The result was a hung jury. The jury consisted of six men and six women, including two African-Americans. Burnley Jr. insisted he was not resisting, while police experts were split on whether the officer’s actions were appropriate. Burnley Jr.’s attorney Jonathan Safran said about the verdict, “He’s very disappointed, upset and can’t understand how a jury could reach that conclusion,” according to USA Today.
There is a possibility the case will be retried but, as we all know, officers accused of wrongful shootings of Black people almost always results in hung juries or acquittals.