In a tragic case of mistaken identity, police in Wisconsin assaulted a customer at an Applebee’s who had been tackled to the floor while cradling a newborn. The true suspects had hidden in the restroom.
According to WISN 12 News, on July 20 police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were hunting for suspects in a serious hit-and-run crash when witnesses reported seeing two black men and a lady carrying a child rush down the road and enter an Applebee’s. Jennifer Harris, the Applebee’s manager that night, told the outlet that police officers had asked the family to identify the vehicle they had arrived in.
This was done to confirm whether or not the family had been involved in the earlier car accident. When authorities approached a seat in the restaurant, an unknown worker told them there was a man and woman there with a child.
“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,” Harris said.
“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.” While the father was on the ground, officers, according to Harris’s account, tackled him and began yanking the infant from his arms.
The tweet below verifies the news:
— New York Post (@nypost) August 11, 2023
In the footage, an officer can be heard shouting at the man to “put his hand behind his back” while also delivering a flurry of strikes.
Just how sad it is. Harris, fighting back tears, told the site, “I just felt bad for the baby, that it had to go through that traumatic event.”
The man who was tackled in the restaurant was charged with disorderly behavior and resisting and obstructing an officer, even though police later said the pair had nothing to do with the hit-and-run. The woman he was with at the time of his detention was also charged with marijuana possession, the media report says.
After the terrifying encounter, police tracked down the real perpetrators to a bathroom, where they promptly detained and charged them. An employee working that night, Hal Klibowitz, told the outlet that the police should have left the man alone when he expressed a desire to eat in peace.
Harris, who had worked at the Applebee’s for around 12 years, was also terminated after the restaurant found out that she had posted the footage online and given it to the media. Harris’s lawyer, William Sulton, said they gave Applebee’s a chance to restore Harris before filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
If you are interested, the following is a list of supplementary links provided by the California Examiner:
- A Chicago Prisoner Was Killed in the Hospital Area of the Cook County Jail
- NYC Gas Station Stabbing Upgraded to Hate Crime Murder Charge
The Restaurant chain Refused
Local activists gathered Wednesday outside the Kenosha Safety Building to demand an open investigation of the conduct of police personnel. At the rally, Leaders of Kenosha executive director Tanya McLean said, “Why did the cops feel they needed that level of force with a baby in his arms?”
“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?” A “review” is being conducted within the department to see if the officers’ use of force was “more robust than what the state requires,” as stated in a statement provided to the media outlet.
“We were aware of the incident immediately as a result of that process and started a review of it,” the statement read. “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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