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‘Are we safe here in Kenosha?’: Residents demand answers after police arrest innocent man holding baby


By Stephanie Rodriguez

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    KENOSHA, Wisconsin (WDJT) — A video of a man being arrested while holding his baby in his arms for a crime he did not commit has the Kenosha community demanding answers.

“I think [the family is] still in a state of disbelief, upset, angry, just shocked, shocked,” Executive Director of Leaders of Kenosha Tanya McLean said.

McLean gathered community members on Wednesday to make their stance on a now-viral video known.

In it, police are seen getting into a physical altercation with a man inside a Kenosha Applebee’s last month. At the time, officers believed the man was involved with a nearby hit-and-run, but they now say he was not the suspect they were searching for that day, but he fit the description given to them by witnesses.

The man, who is Black, is holding his infant in his arms, and after an Applebee’s employee grabs the child, an officer repeatedly punches the man lying on the ground.

“It kind of knocked the air out of us. I wish I could say I was surprised,” McLean said.

McLean, who started Leaders of Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in 2020, says this is another instance of police brutality in the city. She is just one of the many community members shaken by the incident.

“[I’m] heartbroken that an innocent Black man experienced the trauma of being forced to the ground by police while eating with his family,” Congregations United to Serve Humanity President Monica L. Cummings said.

The community wants a full investigation into the use of force in the incident and a third-party assessment of the current culture within the Kenosha Police Department.

McLean tells CBS 58 she believes people should not be afraid of the police, as their job is to protect the community, but the actions of Kenosha police continue to call that sentiment into question.

“Are we safe here in Kenosha?” McLean asked. “As a Black person, is this a place where we can get in our cars and move around freely without worrying about being harmed or making it back home to our families?”

The man in the video, an Illinois resident, has been charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct for resisting arrest.

“What we saw was not lawful,” McLean said. “There should be no charges involved. The only people that should be getting charges are those officers.”

Kenosha police found and arrested the suspects of the alleged hit-and-run, who they say were hiding in the bathroom of that same Applebee’s. They also claim they started an internal investigation into the incident the day after it took place.

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