Caught on camera: Kenosha police forcefully arrest Black man mistaken for suspects

Man facing charges after police mistake him for hit-and-run suspects they eventually found in bathroom

John Garcia Image
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Wisconsin police forcefully arrest man mistaken for suspects: VIDEO
Kenosha police officers were caught on video forcefully arresting a Black man, who was holding a baby, inside an Applebee's.

KENOSHA, Wis. (WLS) -- Now-viral video captured Kenosha police detaining a man in a restaurant, apparently believing he was a suspect involved in a hit-and-run crash down the street.

The man was holding a baby when the officers approached him. ABC7 blurred the man's face, as well as the child's.

"He tried to go the other way. They tackled him into a wall, and the baby hit its head on the wall," said Applebee's Manager Jennifer Harris.

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It happened last month. An Applebee's employee took video on his phone of the incident, and police can be seen holding the man down and taking the baby away from him.

Employees said the man was in the restaurant, eating dinner with his family, before police entered.

"They had four cops on his back, each grabbing an arm, one cop punching him over and over again in his face," Harris said.

Police said witnesses of the hit and run crash said the suspects were two Black men and a woman carrying a child and that they all ran toward the Applebee's.

In a written statement, police claim restaurant employees directed them toward a man and a woman sitting in the restaurant with their baby.

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However, police say they later learned the family had nothing to do with the hit-and-run, and did find the actual suspects hiding in a bathroom inside the restaurant. They are both charged.

Kenosha police also say the man seen in the video is facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting and obstructing an officer. The woman he was with is facing the same charges, along with possession of marijuana.

But, Kenosha activists say police had no right to detain to the man.

"The young man who was thrown to the ground and punched was innocent. He wasn't the person police were looking for," said Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings.

Kenosha is still recovering from civil unrest that destroyed buildings in parts of town following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in 2020.

Cummings was part of a committee that drafted a report recommending changes in the police department. She said the department has adopted none of those recommendations.

"I don't see any indication that anything has changed with the Kenosha Police Department since 2020," Cummings said.

The Kenosha Police Department released a statement, saying," 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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