UPDATE: Viral video of arrest at East Towne Mall sparks protest - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Viral video of arrest at East Towne Mall sparks protest

Posted: Updated:
Protesters inside the Public Safety Building Protesters inside the Public Safety Building
Genele Laird Genele Laird

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Michael Johnson tells 27 News that during a meeting with police chief Mike Koval, family members of Genele Laird asked that charges against her be dropped. 

Those charges include disorderly conduct while armed, resisting police (causing injury), battery to a police officer and discharging bodily fluids.

"I'm convinced based on what I've heard tonight that I think there could be some restorative justice program put in place but I don't think this young lady should go to jail," says Johnson. 

Johnson added that he and Laird's family members applauded the chief for his quick response and for meeting with the family on the night of the incident.

When asked whether Laird's family wants charges against the officers involved in the incident, Johnson says that never came up during the meeting with Chief Koval.

The video on Facebook went viral overnight, but has been taken down.  Here is the video posted on YouTube this morning.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Viral video of the arrest of a woman at East Towne Mall on Tuesday evening sparked a protest outside of the Public Safety Building later that night.

Police say around 5:15 p.m., officers were called to the mall to deal with a woman who mall security members described as "out of control and making threats." Police say 18-year-old Genele Laird confronted an employee at Taco Bell claiming her phone had been stolen. Officers say she showed a knife and threatened the employee.

According to the Madison Police Department, when security confronted Laird, she refused to leave and made numerous threats to kill the security staff.

Police say Laird resisted their attempts to arrest her. During the struggle, police say Laird spit in the eyes of one officer.

Laird was taken to the jail on charges of disorderly conduct while armed, resisting police (causing injury), battery to a police officer and discharging bodily fluids.

Officers say they did recover the knife.

Police say the arresting officers were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released.

The arrest at the mall was captured on video by some bystanders and is being shared on social media. WKOW is not showing the video yet until we can confirm the timeline and context of the video.

The video sparked outrage and led to a protest outside of the Public Safety Building in Madison. Eventually, the demonstrators moved inside the building. Protesters held a banner that said "Hands Off Black Women."

Boys and Girls Club President and CEO Michael Johnson saw the video. He told 27 News Tuesday night that he was meeting with Police Chief Mike Koval. Johnson also posted on his Facebook page that the meeting would include city alders Maurice Cheeks and Barbara McKinney, state Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison, as well as the family of the suspect.

On his Facebook page, Johnson said he was told by the family that the 18-year-old has never been in trouble before.

WKOW will continue to seek comment from Chief Koval on the video that was captured at East Towne Mall as well as his comments on the actions of the officers who arrived on the scene. We'll bring you any developments right here on WKOW.com and in our newscasts.

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