On March 4, 2015 Officer Pablo Torres shot a suicidal 64-year-old man. The man, Terry Knight, survived the shooting. The officer was relieved of his duties for several days.
March 14, 2015 Officer Torres returns to work and shortly after 9:30am that day he shot and killed 26 year old Aaron Siler.
This month, April 2015, the Kenosha Professional Police Association posted a billboard with Officer Torres–smiling–and a dog, with the caption, “Thank you for your support, Kenosha.”
Some people found this offensive. Kathy Willie, a Siler family friend, told Kenosha News:
I saw it and I was immediately sickened. They are basically thanking Kenosha for shooting and killing Aaron and shooting and injuring Terry Knight.
From March 14, the day of the incident:
And two days later on March 16:
They are saying that Siler “armed himself with a weapon,” but do not identify if that weapon was a Swiss army knife, a spoon or a loaded gun.
The Kenosha Professional Police Association told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The recent incidents in the community have greatly impacted many people including the officer, his family and the entire police department. We have been humbled by the outpouring of support the community has given us and we wanted to simply say thank you for that support.
At a press conference, Michael Bell stated:
From day one, I am claiming that there wasn’t a proper investigation. Within 48 hours … they cleared themselves of any wrongdoing. It took them two years later to discover that the bullet entered my son’s right temple instead of the story that they created where it entered my son’s left temple.
One of the officers involved ended up committing suicide. According to this chronicling of a pattern of Kenosha police brutality by “Kayaker712”, it is summed up as:
Our system of “public safety” is built on a population of armed functionaries invested with the power of discretionary killing, many of whom are so emotionally unstable that they pose a potentially lethal threat even to themselves.
The officer that actually shot Michael Bell’s son, Albert Gonzalez, is also being sued by an inmate serving a life sentence. In October 2003, Albert Gonzalez broke Julian Miller’s jaw by jumping on his head. Gonzalez claims it was an accident. Miller claims otherwise. Miller had a previous case against Gonzalez, for this same incident dismissed in 2011. Last year he filed another case against Gonzalez and that is moving forward.
For more information on Kenosha Police brutality, CopBlock.org has an entire section dedicated to Kenosha.
Featured Image from Photography Is Not A Crime.