Clyde J. McLemore (D), 63, of Zion, IL went to trial today for a felony and a misdemeanor and the jury came back with a split verdict. McLemore is the founder of the Waukegan, IL Black Lives Matter group. He was charged with one felony count of attempted battery to a law enforcement officer and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. According to the criminal complaint, Mayor John Antaramian (D) held a press conference at the public safety building on August 24, 2020. An unruly crowd formed and attempted to force their way into the building. A Kenosha police officer, who has served on the department for about 13 years, was attempting to shut the front door of the public safety building when Clyde McLemore kicked the front door of the building closed and bragged that he was trying to break the officer’s fingers.
This incident is on video from many different angles. For the three videos played to the jury, it was clear the McLemore kicked the door as the police officer’s fingers were in the way. The four videos of the “kick” and McLemore’s own words citing his intent to hurt the cop should have been enough. Defense counsel suggested someone else could have hacked into McLemore’s account to make the post.
Kenosha Police Detective Peter Falk is a veteran detective, holding the rank for 17 years. He testified that in the video of McLemore kicking the door closed, McLemore said “I tried to break his knuckles.”
BLM sympathizer, Kenosha DA Michael Graveley asked the Walworth County DA to prosecute this case due to a conflict. Walworth DA Zeke Wiedenfeld tried the case today and called only two witnesses. He was soft spoken, and not aggressive. McLemore, a felon who says he has more than 30 felonies on his record, did not take the stand. Wiedenfeld presented his case in chief in about two hours, a very small time-frame for a case of this seriousness. The defense called one character witness.
The jury was not able to hear evidence that McLemore was once convicted of felony battery to a police officer when he dragged an Illinois Sheriff’s Deputy with his car while resisting arrest. Most defense attorneys agreed with Judge Jason Rossell’s decision.
The jury, consisting of six men and six women (two seemingly African-American) were excused to deliberate at 3:10 pm and returned with a verdict at 4:10 pm. attempted battery to a police Officer – Not Guilty, Disorderly Conduct – Guilty.
We filed a John Doe in this case to ask that McLemore be charged with felony bail jumping. Neither Graveley nor Wiedenfeld would charge him. On October 3, 2022, while out on bond for this case, McLemore was arrested for criminal trespass to government land. Just yesterday, Wiedenfeld charged McLemore with felony bail Jumping, so we can expect another trial. According to Kenosha Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Cicchini, the elements of bail jumping that the state must prove are:
- The defendant was charged with a felony.
- The defendant was released from custody on bond.
- The defendant intentionally failed to comply with the terms of the bond by committing a new crime.
“The outcome of today’s case does not affect the state’s ability to pursue bail jumping, becuase the test is if the defendant was on bond at that time,” said Cicchini.
Many expected a guilty verdict with the mountain of evidence, but the fact that the jury may have ignored it suggests that they didn’t think the riots warrant accountability.