A district attorney in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has released new details including police body cam footage of officers attempting a takedown of a couple they believed were involved in a serious hit-and-run accident on July 20.
According to the complaint, witnesses at the scene of the hit-and-run described the suspects as a Black man and Black woman, wearing a red shirt, with a baby.
Staff at a nearby Appleby’s called into dispatch about “a group of individuals matching that description had come into the restaurant and appeared nervous.”
The officers that arrived on the scene acknowledged the Appleby’s staff directed them to a table where there was a man, a baby, and woman wearing a white shirt, but they approached them anyway.
“(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 Jennifer Harris, the manager who was working at Applebee’s on July 20. “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.”
The video shows police working to free the crying baby from the man’s arms. After the baby is taken away from the man, police are seen on top of him, one officer repeatedly punching the man as he was held down by at least one other officer.
Both the man and woman face misdemeanor charges of resisting an officer and disorderly conduct.
Kenosha Police Department said officers did find the actual hit-and-run suspects hiding in a bathroom. They were also charged.
The statement from Kenosha PD:
"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."