Mother speaks out after couple's charges dropped following forceful arrest in Kenosha Applebee's

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Saturday, December 23, 2023
Mother speaks out; charges dropped after forceful Kenosha arrest
A Wisconsin couple can now speak out after charges against them were dropped following a forceful arrest in a Kenosha, Wisconsin Applebee's in July.

KENOSHA, Wis. (WLS) -- A Kenosha County Circuit Court dismissed charges Thursday against a couple who were forcefully arrested while eating dinner at an Applebee's with their 1-year-old child earlier this year.

Now that charges against her have been dropped, Shaniya Boyd said she is free to talk publicly about her arrest at the Kenosha Applebee's restaurant in July.

I've never been to jail, never had on handcuffs.
Shanya Boyd

"I never wanted this to happen," Boyd said. "Don't what this to happen to anybody. It's traumatizing."

As seen in police body cam video, officers were searching for suspects in a hit-and-run crash near the restaurant when they questioned the couple. Police eventually forced Boyd's boyfriend, Jermelle English, to the ground and hit him.

English was holding the couple's one-year-old child at the time. More images were captured on cell phone video.

Police charged Boyd and English with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, threatening to take custody of their son if they were convicted.

"Defending themselves for not doing anything wrong, but being Black and eating dinner in Kenosha," attorney Kevin O'Connor said.

Activists led several demonstrations following the incident, suggesting it was the police who should be punished.

Two officers were suspended.

Police arrested both Boyd and English.

"I've never been to jail, never had on handcuffs," Boyd said.

"It's hurtful," Shanya's mother, Tekesisha Boyd, said. "Something to I have to see. And it hurts me I could not help my child."

English was out of town at a funeral and unavailable to speak Friday.

Boyd said she has never gotten an apology from police.

The attorney said the couple had been in the restaurant for some time waiting for their food, and could not have been involved in the hit-and-run outside. He said he wants the department to establish guidelines to keep it from happening again.

"They need to take some action to change the policies," O'Connor said.

The couple's attorney said he plans to decide whether to file a federal lawsuit within about a week.

ABC7 has reached out Kenosha police, but they have been unavailable for comment.