No surveillance video of officer-involved shooting at jail

Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 8:46 PM CDT
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One week after a deadly officer-involved shooting in Brown County, the Department of Justice released the name of the victim and the Green Bay Police officers involved.

At about 9:11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, Jonathon Tubby, 26, was shot in the Brown County Jail’s sally port. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

An autopsy on Tubby has been completed but results have not been released.

Officers Erik O’Brien and Colton Werenecke were placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

Officer O'Brien was the only officer to fire his weapon during the incident, according to the DOJ. He has six years with the department.

Wernecke has three months with the department.

This comes as the Brown County Sheriff’s Office reports that the jail’s sally port does not have the ability to record security footage.

Officials say the video surveillance system was installed back in 2001, when the jail was opened. When installed, the system was meant for live viewing only.

Action 2 News reached out to neighboring Kewaunee County to see how Brown County’s surveillance system matches up.

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says surveillance camera video has helped investigations in the past.

“It really came in really essential when we did have our recent officer-involved shooting. That of course it was captured on squad video. And to be able to go back to those sequence of events, and look at it, it was a great tool,” Sheriff Joski says.

But that’s not to say it’s a hindrance to work without it.

“We didn't have [surveillance video] for a millennium. We've been doing these works since, for decades. For centuries. And it's only recently that we've had this technology,” Sheriff Joski explains.

While Kewaunee County does have recordable video in its sally port, sheriff’s deputies don’t wear body cams, something other departments in Northeast Wisconsin do.

Sheriff Joski says it’s a matter of budget and resources.

“The absence of any one of these tools does not make any agency that much more suspicious or a need to say, 'OK, what are they not showing?'”

In Brown County, an upgrade to the sheriff’s office video system was approved with the 2017 budget. Before the officer-involved shooting, recordable video systems were scheduled to be installed in the jail next year.

That’s because when the jail first opened 17 years ago, the ability to record surveillance video wasn’t even an option.

“Just because it wasn't available, that doesn't automatically default to some impropriety,” Sheriff Joski tells Action 2 News.

He says ideally all departments would have the same -- and best -- technologies available. But without them, law enforcement officials are doing the best they can.

“The reality is, men and women do work every day, 24/7, doing some great work, and not all of it's captured on video,” Sheriff Joski says.

The investigation into Tubby’s death continues, as more than two dozen witnesses are being interviewed.

Tubby had been arrested earlier in the evening on a felony warrant from the Brown County Sheriff's Office. He was stopped for a traffic violation in the 300 block of Main St. at about 7:24 p.m.

A female passenger was discovered to have an outstanding warrant from the Department of Corrections.

A Green Bay senior police officer and a trainee made the stop. They called for a squad to take the female to jail while they transported Tubby to jail.

The DOJ says while in the sally port, "a confrontation occurred and Green Bay police fired and struck the man."