Ferguson, Missouri and Kenosha Wisconsin, have something in common, and it’s not anything to be proud of. They are both crime scenes. Nine years ago, on August 9, 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Fast forward to August 9, 2023, when a Black man was beaten and wrongfully arrested by Kenosha police officers while holding a baby and having dinner with his family in an Applebee’s restaurant.
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—! Let me the f— go!” The man screamed while trying to let go of his baby.
Officers took the the baby out of the man’s arms and slammed him facedown on the ground before punching the innocent man in his head and face.
Jennifer Harris, the manager on duty at the restaurant says she witnessed the attack and was horrified 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.”
Although police officers later admitted that they got the wrong man and he was not involved in the hit and run accident, they charged him anyway for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. 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.
“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.”
Kenosha is also the site of another police involved shooting. On August 23, 2020, Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in his back and side multiple times (four in the back, three in the side) by police officer Rusten Sheskey during a traffic stop.
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