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WI Justice Bradley Cannot Escape Her “Chokehold” Allegation

WI Justice Bradley Cannot Escape Her “Chokehold” Allegation

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has accused Justice David Prosser of using a “chokehold” on her.  The Dane County Sheriff’s office is investigating.

Remember the term “chokehold” as the investigation as to what really happened progresses and the facts eventually come out.

“Chokehold” is a very specific term, and is more than hands or a forearm coming into contact with one’s neck.  A chokehold requires that there be sufficient pressure applied as to put the person at risk of reduced oxygen or blood flow.

In City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 97 fn. 1, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 1663 fn. 1 (1983), the United States Supreme Court described a chokehold as follows:

The police control procedures at issue in this case are referred to as “control holds,” “chokeholds,” “strangleholds,” and “neck restraints.” All these terms refer to two basic control procedures: the “carotid” hold and the “bar arm” hold. In the “carotid” hold, an officer positioned behind a subject places one arm around the subject’s neck and holds the wrist of that arm with his other hand. The officer, by using his lower forearm and bicep muscle, applies pressure concentrating on the carotid arteries located on the sides of the subject’s neck. The “carotid” hold is capable of rendering the subject unconscious by diminishing the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. The “bar arm” hold, which is administered similarly, applies pressure at the front of the subject’s neck. “Bar arm” pressure causes pain, reduces the flow of oxygen to the lungs, and may render the subject unconscious.

As defined at Wikipedia (bold in original, italics added):

A chokehold or choke (also stranglehold or in Judo referred to as shime-waza, 絞技, “constriction technique”) is a general term for grappling hold that critically reduces or prevents either air (choking) or blood (strangling) from passing through the neck of an opponent, the restriction may be of one or both and depends on the hold used and the reaction of the victim. The lack of blood or air may lead to unconsciousness or even death if the hold is maintained. Chokeholds are used in martial arts, combat sports, self-defense, law enforcement and in military hand to hand combat applications. They are considered superior to brute-force manual strangling, which generally requires a large disparity in physical strength to be effective.  Rather than using the fingers or arms to attempt to crush the neck, chokeholds effectively use leverage such as figure-four holds or collar holds that use the clothes to assist in the constriction.  [footnotes and embedded links omitted]

Similar definitions are found at Merriam-Webster (“a hold that involves strong choking pressure applied to the neck of another”) and Free Dictionary Online (“a restraining hold; someone loops the arm around the neck of another person in a tight grip, usually from behind”).

There have been numerous instances of chokeholds leading to death and murder charges.

Wisconsin law recognizes the use of a chokehold as a criminal battery if there is no legal justification for its use.  In Re John Doe Petition, 329 Wis.2d 724, 735, 793 N.W.2d 209, 214 (2010)(Wisc. Ct. Appeals)(“allegations that a prison guard squeezed his neck to the point of impairing his breathing, without any legitimate purpose for the chokehold, could conceivably support a charge of battery or some other offense”). 

There also is a specific statute making it a felony to commit a battery on a judge.  W.S.A. 940.203 (“(2) Whoever intentionally causes bodily harm or threatens to cause bodily harm to the person or family member of any judge under all of the following circumstances is guilty of a Class H felony”). 

So let’s be clear, Bradley has accused Prosser of committing a felony, not just having a bad temper. 

If Prosser has a defense, such as self defense, that would not diminish the nature of Bradley’s allegations, but merely would provide a legal justification.

 If Bradley repeats to the investigating law enforcement authorities the charge that Prosser used a “chokehold” on her, and if that charge is false, Bradley will have violated of W.S.A. 946.41 (“(1) whoever knowingly resists or obstructs an officer while such officer is doing any act in an official capacity and with lawful authority is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor…. (2)(a)  “Obstructs” includes without limitation knowingly giving false information to the officer….”).

Christian Schneider has a thorough report based on his own interviews which casts substantial doubt on Bradley’s account.  Nonetheless, in fairness to Bradley, we should await the outcome of official investigations.

But in fairness to Prosser, if it turns out that Bradley’s “chokehold” allegation was false and that allegation was repeated to the police, then Bradley should face the full force of the law.  And if Bradley does not make the accusation to the police as she made it to the public, then the demand for her resignation should be universal.

No one should be allowed to escape the consequences of Bradley’s chokehold allegation, including Bradley.


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I read that all the WI supreme justices were present when this incident occured. Bring on the witnesses…

    VetHusbandFather in reply to DrJim77. | June 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Supreme court justices as witnesses, why do I have a feeling that the testimony would be split right now party lines. We know how impartial supreme court judges are when it comes to anything political *rolleyes*.

Pasadena Phil | June 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm

And she can’t claim later that she spoke without knowing what a choke hold is either. She is a judge. It’s her business to know these things and I’m sure she has presided over more than one case involving a choke hold.

Donald Douglas | June 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Honestly, I’m really looking to Bradley getting busted on this. As I said all along, I can’t imagine professional people, in the workplace, rushing each other “fists raised.” But progressives ran with it. Now let’s apply the same test to Bradley. I’ll bet she’s the one who’s out in the end, but we’ll see.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Reminds me of when a female lefty (I think she was with came charging toward a vehicle in which Rand Paul riding as he arrived at a campaign event shortly before the elections. A couple of onlookers feared for Paul’s safety and subdued the woman. She dropped to the ground and one of the guys briefly placed his foot on her for about two seconds before others in the crowd self-policed and made him remove his foot.

The incident, fortunately, was caught on video tape but that didn’t stop the leftosphere from over-exaggerating the ordeal and characterizing it as “a violent head-stomping”, “boot stomping” and so forth.

It was all an effort to smear not only Paul’s supporters but also an attempt to link Paul himself to the incident (by implying we may not want a U.S. Senator whose supporters are so barbaric and uncivilized that they go around head-stomping women).

I have a feeling the Bradley charges of a “chokehold” will be far less substantive than even the Ran Paul “head stomping” affair.

DINORightMarie | June 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I wonder if this woman has her head on straight. Reminds me of Sumi’s vicarious, wacky, illogical ruling(s. Doing things like this, allegedly raising her fists at a fellow justice, accusing him of putting her in a “chokehold” – after the incident is somehow leaked to liberal leftists……

Surreal. Sometimes I think their puffed-up egos get ahead them, and they forget they might have to face the consequences for their actions. They are not all Teflon-coated.

But these are not toddlers having a tantrum, acting out. These are grown-ups who have been elected to their high office, and have earned the relevant academic credentials, to boot.

Amazing. The left are beyond reason. Beyond comprehension. Beyond belief. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.

Captain Obvious | June 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Let’s not forget if she’s running around claiming Prosser is a felon, and she admits to the police she knowingly made a false statement, then she’s wide open to a slander suit. Prosser being a public figure raises the bar, but it does not immunize her since she was allegedly speaking about firsthand knowledge, not hearsay about some remote celebrity.

I was going to say that it could be per se defamation because she accused him of a felony. Arguably she accused him of being unfit for his profession too.

Even if Prosser didn’t apply any pressure, but did physically put his hands around her neck, what she said was arguably true or exaggeration rather than lying.

Cowboy Curtis | June 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Professor, if I might humbly suggest a video to accompany what are sure to be numerous more posts on this matter:
Ted Nugent- Stranglehold

Really, are you ever again going to find so fitting a marriage of news and song?


Bradley was using the playground definition of “choke-hold” which means that he had a hand (or both hands) wrapped around her neck in such a way that he was able to restrict the flow through her windpipe with the thumb(s) or with the web between thumb and forefinger.

Perfectly appropriate for her; she’s never really matured past that 12-year-old marker. This was a “MOMMY!! MOMMY!!” scream from her.

Is it possible Bradley has simply forgotten where she is? Her odd behaviour seems more typical of a Québécois than Wisconsinite, but I could be wrong.

Well, Bradley certainly sounds like her wind is cut off, she’s making strange noises, and it doesn’t sound like much blood is getting to her brain, so you could say she’s in a “chokehold”

Her problem seems self-inflicted though….

Carol Herman | June 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Hey, I have Bradley’s defense right here!

As soon as she’s questioned by “authorities” she will point to how judges have the right to keep secrets. As they do when they “invite” lawyers (and others), into their chambers. Even when they signal the court reporter to be present.

Because, I’m not a lawyer. I’m going to assume that what happens “in chambers” is beyond the reach of mere mortals. Only God knows what’s said. And, whatever a judge wants to leave unsaid … that’s what happens, too.

There’s also Loo-ders story. He had everyone seated. When only Bradley rose … angered that Prosser called Abrahamson a bitch. (But there’s no testimony that can be shown this actually happened.)

The “choke hold” didn’t happen, either. Because another justice said it didn’t. And, she was STANDING right there.

Later on, by journalistic malpractice … it was discovered that Abrahamson had made some sort of “deal” with the other justices … to publish a decision. Which actually fell down some memory hole.

The plumbers were called in.

Abrahamson now knows “hiding out” in Bradley’s office was not a good idea.

And, then you also have the truth. Abrahamson is a bitch! She’s also a LIAR. Because you just can’t expect “deals” between judges to be ignored as if they didn’t happen.

Now, since I come here … I did see you said “at least” ONE JUDGE will be forced to resign.

My money’s not on Prosser! But, yeah. On Bradley.

Perhaps, too, it will be “suggested” to Shirley to resign. She’s old enough to live on her pension, plus her social security. And, does she really have any friends left among the judiciary? And, I mean this in the widest sense possible. If you were to poll judges in all 50 States … would they lean toward supporting her at all?

Reagan had a rule. His rule was that you never misspoke about another republican. I’ll bet ya … Judges also have a similar rule. Even if it’s silent … doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Abrahamson crossed the line.

Even if Bradley and Abrahamson want to use the insanity defense … It’s just cheaper to resign. Than face the music of “saying” choke hold … without ever filing charges.

Up ahead? I’ll bet the journalist has to fall on his pencil.

Juba Doobai! | June 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Rush Limbaugh is always saying that “words mean things.” As a jurist, Bradley knows that. To advance a partisan liberal agenda, she deliberately set it aside deeming that lying in the cause of overturning the will of the people (vis a vis Prosser) was a public good. Bradley is discovering that ignoring the meaning of words and lying is not a smart move, as she watches her career spiral down the toilet.

Rush also says, “liberals lie.” Both Abrahamson and Bradley were lying to advance the liberal agenda; both were willing to sacrifice comity and collegiality to undermine not just Prosser, but also the Republican Governor Scott Walker. Thus, their lies extended beyond what was happening in Bradley’s office to the wider WI context. They knew, as jurists, that lying is not de rigeur, yet the engaged in it by word and deed. Abrahamson by taking refuge in Bradley’s office to avoid the Conservative jurists; Bradley by rushing Prosser and then accusing him of assault by “chokehold,” and then defamation. The lies told by liberals are subversive of the will of the people. That makes them very dangerous.

Whoever investigates this case should question all the jurists under oath, subject them to criminal prosecution for perjury. That might be the only way to clear up this matter and Prosser’s name.

An enraged out-of-control liberal judge moved to utter supreme abandonment of judicial propriety. What’s not to love? tee-hee The postal reaction is it’s own punishment. They justify their bad behavior but no one else does. Tough Luck Libbies. Your bag of tricks has a huge hole in it. Keep holding your breath and throwing tantrums… it is entertaining if nothing else. 🙂

Is it at all possible – even in the holy halls and doorway entrances of the Wisconsin Supreme Court – that a scenario cooked up by Chief Justice Abramson and Justice Bradley could unfold where they purposefully planned the physical charge on Prosser to result in the outcome achieved – Prosser throws out his hands in defense of the nose to nose charge from Bradley?

You betcha. They are completely capable of cooking such a thing up – not saying they did, but it is an ethical breech neither would mind crossing.

Bradley was asked to seek third party counseling for anger management back in March 2011 – and the person who asked her to get help was Justice Patience Roggensack (see Jonathan Turley’s blog March 22, 2011 for one kind of verification of this request).

This court has been rendered completely dysfunctional. Chief Justice Abrahamson must resign and Justice Prosser must litigate against Justice Bradley for defamation of character.

This is exactly what the Wisconsin Judicial Commission review will recommend publicly.

Then – the state should pass the proposed Constitutional Amendment to change the way our Supreme Court is determined – no more elections.

Thanks Shirley – what a great legacy you have left our state (NOT). Worst Chief Justice . ever.

anti-neocon | July 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Good luck, Professor, with your “argument”.

anti-neocon | July 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Professor, illusorytenant IS a lawyer and appears to take your position to task. Care to offer a rebuttal, or continue with the juvenile retorts?