The criminal cases against two Illinois residents featured in a viral video inside the Kenosha Applebees were both dismissed today. Kenosha DA Mike Graveley filed motions to dismiss both cases today and they were signed by Judge Gerad Dougvillo just after noon.
KCE spoke with DA Graveley today and he said that his office would not be commenting on the decision. Graveley’s office charged 24-year-old Jermelle English with Resisting An Officer and Disorderly conduct. English’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Shanya Boyd was charged with Resisting An Officer, Disorderly Conduct, and Possession of Marijuana. The incident was first seen by most due to a video taken by an employee of Applebee’s employee going viral.
Kenosha criminal defense attorney and author, Michael Cicchini, was consulted by KCE and agreed with Graveley dismissing the case.
“The resisting charge has a knowledge element. It might have been difficult for the state to prove to a jury that these defendants knew the officers were acting with lawful authority, among other things. With regard to any physical evidence, the issue there would be whether the officers had probable cause to arrest and whether any subsequent search was justified. This is a different standard, but pursuing that doesn’t seem like a good use of state resources in this case.”
KCE has spoken to many law enforcement officers who are fearful of the precedent that this dismissal creates. “If people think the police are wrong about something, they might now believe that they have carte blanche to resist arrest. They do not. When [police] have reasonable suspicion that someone committed a crime, we can detain someone temporarily and you should comply. The time to argue is not on the scene. If our investigation show you aren’t the person we’re looking for, we’ll kick you loose,” said one Kenosha area law enforcement officer. Wisconsin used to allow the resisting of an unlawful arrest, but made a change in 2003.
English and Boyd hired Attorneys Pat Cafferty and Aileen Henry, respectively. New-York based attorney Alex Spiro was admitted pro hac vice to represent English and Chicago-based attorney Timothy Spiro was also admitted to represent Boyd.
KCE contacted the four attorneys for comment, Caffrey told KCE that “Dismissal of the charges was the reasonable result in this case.”
On July 20th, 2023 at about 11:00 pm, officers from the Kenosha Police Department responded to the intersection of Hwy 31 (Green Bay Rd.) and Hwy 50 for a report of rollover collision involving two vehicles. Occupants of one of the vehicles fled the scene.
The suspect in the hit and run was eventually located hiding in a nearby Applebees restaurant. As many people have seen, two other individuals, Jermelle English and Shanya Boyd, were also taken into custody during the course of the investigation. Mr. English and Ms. Boyd were not involved in the hit and run crash. Force was used in affecting those arrests, which in turned automatically triggered an internal review of this incident.
After an exhaustive review, KPD identified violations of Kenosha Police Department policy committed by both Officer Courtier and Officer Vences. Officer Vences received a four-day suspension as it was determined that the initial force used by Officer Vences was reasonable but that he should have re-evaluated the effectiveness of those strikes and considered other options to overcome Mr. English’s resistance. He also failed to complete a report that met the standards of the Kenosha Police Department.
Officer Courtier received a ten-day suspension. The investigation found that Officer Courtier failed to decontaminate Ms. Boyd after utilizing pepper spray and did not meet the standards of the Kenosha Police Department in regard to professional communication, the safe operation of department vehicles and report writing.
The Kenosha Police Department says it is committed to providing the highest quality service to its citizens and guests. KPD says it strives to train our officers to the highest standard and will hold them accountable if they fall short of those standards. In addition to the suspension time, both officers are receiving supplemental training to correct the deficiencies that were identified in their response to this situation.
All reports and Body-Worn-Camera footage can be viewed at the below link: