MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee man lost 2 of his fingers when he was shot by a police officer while in his car last October. And to add insult to injury, Ronald Carter got a $295 bill from the city after the police had his car towed and shredded.
The 53-year-old Carter said he was visiting his brother and walking down an alley when off-duty officer John Merrill thought Carter broke into his garage. Merrill fired 9 shots at Carter’s vehicle. And according to Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice, Carter’s lawyer wanted to check out the vehicle a couple days before the police released it – and it got crushed at the city’s impound yard. Carter was in jail at the time, awaiting action on the burglary case.
Judge Jean DiMotto later dropped the burglary charge, saying the police should have kept the car as evidence. Carter and his lawyer Eric Brittain thought police were keeping the vehicle for that purpose – and they didn’t know that it was destroyed until 6 weeks after it happened.
The city told Carter to pay the towing and processing fees, or else the state would go after him. Brittain says it’s another example of how the criminal justice system is broke, and it needs to be fixed. The city agency that towed and crushed the vehicle says it won’t comment until Monday.