A Black man was beaten and wrongfully arrested by Kenosha police officers while holding a baby after they believed he was involved in a hit-and-run crash.
According to police, officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident when they believed the suspects fled to a nearby Applebee’s restaurant. Witnesses allegedly told police that the suspects were two Black men and a woman carrying a child who ran toward the Applebee’s. Police also claim that they were directed toward the man whom they wrongfully arrested.
The incident, which was captured on cellphone video, shows police aggressively trying to arrest the Black man. Officers then try to pry the crying baby from the man’s hands as he pleads to the officers that he did nothing wrong.
I’m not doing s–t! Let me the f–k go!” The man screamed while trying to let go of his baby.
Officers eventually remove the baby from the man’s hands and throw him on his stomach. A few moments later the officers begin to punch the man near his head area multiple times, demanding that he put his hands behind his back.
Jennifer Harris, the manager working at Applebee’s during the incident says she witnessed the attack and feels bad for the family.
“(Police) came in and asked (the family) to show them what car they came in, so they could verify if they were in the car accident or not,” said Harris. “The guy didn’t want to comply, he had his baby in his arms. (The officers) kept telling him he’s not under arrest, but he’s detained and needed to answer this question. He was trying to say he needed to change his son’s diaper. He tried to go the other way, they tackled him into a wall and the baby hit its head on the wall. They continued to tackle him to the ground with the baby in his arms. It’s just sad. I just felt bad for the baby, that it had to go through that traumatic event.”
Police later admitted that the man they detained nor the woman he was with was responsible for the hit-and-run, but that didn’t stop them from being charged. Police charged the man they harassed with disorderly conduct, resisting and obstructing an officer. The woman who accompanied him received the same charges as well as possession of marijuana.
Kenosha Police also said they found the actual hit-and-run suspects hiding in the bathroom of the Applebee’s. They were also charged.
Outraged by the wrongful arrest, on Wednesday, community leaders gathered outside the Kenosha Safety Building demanding that the officers be investigated and held accountable for their actions.
“Why did the cops feel they needed that level of force with a baby in his arms,” Tanya McLean, the executive director of Leaders of Kenosha asked WISN. “What is it that makes you feel as if you need to be so overly aggressive, so confrontational, like you’re ready for a fight?”
Here is the statement released by the Kenosha Police Department to WISN:
When asked, a Kenosha Police Department spokesperson provided the following statement:
“The Kenosha Police Department has an internal process in place to review our officer’s use of force that is more robust than what the state requires. We were aware of the incident immediately as a result of that process and started a review of it. Currently it is under investigation. The investigation when complete will be comprehensive and dictate whether the officers acted appropriately or not and if any disciplinary action or additional training is deemed necessary.”
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