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Viral videos expose police mistakes in cases of mistaken identity

In an incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, police mistakenly arrested a Black man in an Applebee's who they thought was involved in a hit-and-run.
Viral videos expose police mistakes in cases of mistaken identity
Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 11, 2023

A string of mistakes by police officers across the country has stirred outrage online.

And while no one was injured in these incidents, critics are calling the officers careless and say they're inflicting unnecessary trauma on citizens.

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, local police mistakenly arrested a Black man in an Applebee's who they thought was involved in a hit-and-run.

A viral video of the incident shows the Black man holding a baby while being handled by officers. Once he releases the child, officers push him to his stomach and beat him before putting the cuffs on.

The suspect Kenosha police were looking for was reportedly hiding in the bathroom when the incident took place.

During a protest, local activist Tanya McLean said, "How are you resisting, when you got up to walk away and you're not under arrest?"

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But the man in the video has been criminally charged as well — he faces disorderly conduct charges and resisting an officer.

Another viral social media video shows the Lansing Police Department in Michigan handcuffing a young Black man while searching for a carjacking suspect.

Lansing police ultimately released the young man in the video and put out a statement clarifying the "unfortunate misunderstanding":

"A different officer was in the area and saw the young man pictured in the viral video wearing a very similar outfit and made contact with him. Our hope is we can put this unfortunate case of 'wrong place, wrong time' behind us and continue to represent the community that we serve."

In Texas, a Black family was held at gunpoint on a Dallas-area highway because police believed they were driving a stolen car.

It turned out that one of the officers made an error, entering the wrong state from the license plate into the computer system.

"It's not okay. And I thank God that we were not physically injured, but we have suffered a lot of mental and emotional trauma from this," the driver of the vehicle, Demetria Heard, said.

These incidents come during a period of increased scrutiny for police following the death of Tyre Nichols, and a nationwide staffing shortage of rank-and-file officers.


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