The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said a Wauwatosa police officer acted in self-defense after shooting and injuring a woman who was using a solid wooden stake to hit the officer’s squad car.
Tinesha Jarrett, who had left a nearby mental health complex just hours before the shooting, also cracked the windshield of Wauwatosa Police Officer Amanda Hodgson’s squad car after Hodgson responded to a call of a woman “violently attacking a female victim with a stick.”
Jarrett, 35, also refused to drop the stake and advanced upon the officer, hitting the driver’s side door with the stake during the incident, which occurred in Wauwatosa’s village area on Dec. 10, 2020.
In a letter, Kent Lovern, chief deputy district attorney for Milwaukee County, said Hodgson “did not act contrary to the criminal statutes under the circumstances of this incident.”
“In evaluating the legal privilege of self-defense, Hodgson had an actual subjective belief that potentially deadly force was necessary under the circumstances,” the letter said.
The Milwaukee Area Investigative Team, led by the West Allis Police Department, investigated the incident. They completed the investigation on Dec. 8.
How the shooting unfolded
Around 9:15 p.m. that night, a call came into the Wauwatosa Police Department about a person who was being assaulted by Jarrett, who was wearing hospital clothing at the time. That assault took place in the lobby of an apartment building near Underwood and Harwood avenues.
Jarrett had grabbed an orange driveway plow stick and “repeatedly struck” the person with it, causing injuries to the victim’s head and arm.
Jarrett had left the Milwaukee County Health Complex hours before the incident, after showing signs of a mental health crisis.
At 9:20 p.m., Hodgson responded to the call and saw Jarrett walking near the area of 1422 Underwood Avenue. She was still carrying the plow stick as well as a lawn ornament attached to a “solid wooden stake” that was around 3½ feet long.
The stake also had a pointed end, an incident synopsis from the West Allis Police Department said.
As Hodgson pulled her squad car near Jarrett, Jarrett began to hit the car with the stake. Hodgson called for backup and then got out of her vehicle.
“Hodgson repeatedly ordered Jarrett to drop the stake. Jarrett refused to do so and instead repeatedly yelled at Hodgson to shoot her,” the synopsis letter said.
Jarrett also swung the stake and struck the driver’s side door of the squad car, which was between the two of them.
That’s when Hodgson fired her gun three times, striking Jarrett in the torso.
Jarrett continued to yell and approached the squad car again. Another Wauwatosa police officer then deployed his Taser at Jarrett.
“The taser did not subdue Jarrett and she was eventually placed under control after struggling with several officers, who then immediately summoned medical care for her,” the letter said.
Jarrett was transported to nearby Froedtert Hospital where she was treated. She was not charged with a crime in the incident.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee DA will not charge Wauwatosa officer for 2020 shooting