Wisconsin Woman Files False Police Complaint Claiming African-American Male Was 'Trespassing'

Monona officers handcuff black man in home, mistaking for a trespasser.

Wisconsin police officers apologized to an African American man who was handcuffed after his neighbors reported that he trespassing into a house. But it turned out that the police complaint was made out of speculation as the house was rented by the man.

The Monona Police Department mentioned it received a call from an unnamed person, living in the 5100 block of Arrowhead Drive on Tuesday, June 2. The police said the woman over the phone explained that the previous resident of the house had recently died and it has been vacant since then.

The Woman Saw a Black Man Getting Inside House

Representational Image Pixabay

Even though the woman identified the man seen at her neighbor's house as an African American male, Monona Police Chief Walter J. Ostrenga claims that this information wasn't passed on to the attending officers.

Later, when the officers arrived at the scene, they found that the front door of the house was unsecured. They knocked and announced their presence but no one came out. The officers said that they heard from inside. Believing that a possible burglary was taking place, officers then went inside the house with their weapons drawn as per protocol, said the police department.

They found a 23-year-old black male and placed him in handcuffs while they investigated.

He was Handcuffed Until Confirmation Came

Monona Police
Monona Police Department Twitter/ Monona Police

The African American man mentioned that he rented the house from the son of the deceased owner. The officers contacted the son who then confirmed that the African American man has rented the house.

Monona Police Chief Walter J. Ostrenga said in a statement: "Given the circumstances, the handcuffs were removed from the subject, Officers apologized for the misunderstanding and they cleared from the call."

Police revealed that shortly after the incident, the renter and the man who had been handcuffed in the home went to the police department and filed a formal complaint. One of the officers involved in the incident met with them and again apologized.

"The Monona Police Department is committed to creating an environment of trust and empathy in all our interactions between the public and our peace officers," Ostrenga said adding that "This complaint will be thoroughly investigated."

The department also released a statement related to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minnesota. In a statement, the department said that:

Once again, we find ourselves devastated by an appalling and heartbreaking use of force incident that has resulted in those we have sworn to protect and serve to fear for their own safety at the hands of those whose duty it is to keep them safe.

While we have yet to gain all available information about the incident that took place in Minneapolis on Monday, the videos we've seen are abundantly clear. What more do we need to see or know to conclude that the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd were heinous and unacceptable.