Bishop Harold Rayford reacts to viral video of arrest outside Ea - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bishop Harold Rayford reacts to viral video of arrest outside East Towne Mall

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Genele Laird Genele Laird

MADISON (WKOW) – Leaders of Madison's black community are calling for the Dane County District Attorney not to charge a woman whose arrest by Madison Police was captured on video because they say she was not under arrest and she had no defense against the officers during the incident.

Bishop Harold Rayford, pastor at the Faith Place Church, watched the video of the arrest with 27 News on Wednesday.  Rayford has taken a lead role in the discussions among local leaders.

He says Genele Laird, 18, did not struggle during the incident, and that the officers' actions were excessive.

“I was very angry, I'm very angry,” said Bishop Rayford. “I can't really express how my heart goes out to her.”

“I don't want to hear a justification for these actions because it violates a trust that we're trying to build between the law enforcement community and the communities of color,” said Bishop Rayford.

Bishop Rayford met with other community leaders Wednesday morning. District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told them he hadn't seen the video at the time they called, so he could not comment on possible charges.  

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