Jermelle English, 25, his girlfriend Shanya Boyd, 21, and their one-year old son Taquarius, all from Zion, IL, joined their attorney and others at a press conference today at 1:00 pm in front of Applebee’s in Kenosha. The trio were recorded in a now-viral video that showed police attempting to take English into custody on July 20, 2023, while he seemingly used his son as a human shield. Eventually, the baby had to be ripped from his hands and English was taken to the ground. A Kenosha Police officer was seen punching the man in the head several times, to the point that Mr. Englished urinated on himself. This incident followed a major car accident at the corner of Green Bay Rd and Highway 50. Witnesses reported a man, woman, and small child fleeing the area, making it a hit-and-run. Kenosha and Pleasant Prairie Police officers entered the nearby Applebee’s after being summoned to the restaurant by staff, and found a man, woman, and child that matched the description sitting at a table. The video picks up several minutes after the initial conversation between police and the family:
Boyd and English were not the offenders in the hit and run – the actual offenders were hiding in the bathroom and were later arrested.
The family has retained Chicago-based attorney Kevin W. O’Connor. O’Connor told about a dozen journalists that what happened to his clients was becuase of their skin color. He said that the 1-year-old baby, Taquarius, was injured with pepper spray from a Kenosha Police Officer and the Officer sprayed the baby accidentally. It was also said that the baby, who was smiling and playful today, despite the extreme heat, will have lifelong respiratory and cardiac issues. According to Medical News Today and the Medical Library of Medicine, people report scratches to the eyeball, or corneal abrasions, in about 10% of cases of OC spray. Such scratches are temporary and may result from a person rubbing their eyes. While painful, the symptoms are self-limiting in most cases. They tend to resolve on their own within 30 minutes and usually do not require medical treatment.
“Maybe next time, this officer will use his gun accidentally,” said O’Connor. He also commented on the red lights on the Kenosha Police and Pleasant Prairie’s Body-Worn Cameras. O’Connor told the media that this meant that the officers shut off their body cameras nefariously.
Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton initially declined to talk publicly about this matter as it is still under investigation, but when confronted with the attorney’s allegations, he decided to release some information. “I didn’t think it was yet appropriate to talk about this incident, but it would be wrong for me to allow false allegations to go unrefuted. The Kenosha Police Department is in possession of the body-worn-camera footage from each and every officer that responded to Applebee’s. The red indicator light signals that the body camera is actively recording, but green lights and even the lack of any indicator light doesn’t necessarily mean that recording is or is not in progress. As to the child, our initial assessment shows evidence that the baby was not in the area that the OC spray was utilized. The baby was later cleared by medical professionals. Kenosha Police received a call from staff at Applebee’s that there were people in the restaurant that were acting suspiciously. The family matched the description and Applebee’s staff confirmed that the people they called police about were the correct people approached by officers. We were acting on a witness’s report, not to the color of the family’s skin.” A member of the Pleasant Prairie Police department also clarified that their cameras were rolling as well.
KCE asked Attorney O’Connor what he recommends that his clients do when they are being temporarily detained be law enforcement. “Should they resist arrest like your clients?” He became irked by the question and insisted that his clients didn’t resist arrest, “they were only eating dinner.” He then said that in some states, one cannot be convicted of resisting if there is not an underlying crime. Wisconsin is not one such state. O’Connor said that he is warning Kenosha Police to do the right thing, or he will take further action. He contradicted himself at one point in his 20 minute speech. He said that he is demanding that Kenosha Police fire several officers immediately, but later, when asked if his clients will be suing, said “Unlike Kenosha Police, I like to get all of the evidence before I make a decision.” Kenosha Police have released a statement saying exactly that – they are waiting for the investigation to be completed before taking any action, if any. O’Connor then made reference to other cases that have already been adjudicated, like Kyle Rittenhouse and Jacob Blake. In both cases, a thorough investigation was completed, and with Rittenhouse, he was acquitted of all charges in 2021. Kenosha DA Mike Graveley determined that Officer Rusten Shesky didn’t violate the law with his use of force against Blake. Blake also didn’t recover any money in a civil setting.
The family also enlisted the help of multiple felon, and career violent criminal Clyde McLemore, who is the president of BLM of Zion, IL. He has twice been charged with felonies for attacking police. Ironically, Clyde was sentenced earlier today in Kenosha County Circuit Court for his part in a riot-like attack on a Kenosha Police Officer. Judge Jason Rossell gave McLemore a light sentence today – only probation. KCE asked O’Connor if McLemore is the right person to insert himself into this incident, but O’Connor declined comment.
McLemore was critical of Kenosha DA Mike Graveley (D), a fellow BLM supporter who himself has helped McLemore avoid several serious felonies by not charging him and asked a neighboring DA to not charge him. McLemore demanded that the charges against English and Boyd be dismissed immediately. The two were scheduled to be in court this week, but the DA’s office postponed both cases until November. English and Boyd were both charged by the Kenosha County DA’s office on July 21, 2023. English was charged with resisting/obstructing and disorderly conduct. Boyd received identical charges and was also charged with possession of THC.
Failed aldermanic candidate Tanya McLean also inserted herself into this incident and told the media that she feels unsafe living in Kenosha because of the “racist police.” McLean oftentimes asks to meet in person with multiple Kenosha Police administrators, who have agreed to speak with her. She didn’t express fear during these several meetings.
O’Connor also took aim at Applebee’s for reasons he didn’t explain. “Applebee’s likes to put salt on their food, and they also like to put salt on wounds,” said O’Connor. “An email and a gift certificate aren’t enough.”