Kenosha Billboard Sparks Debate
Kenosha – “Not very smart and it seems to make a joke of the law, with an investigation still pending. It would seem, in my humble opinion, that they are attempting to raise the level of polarization between police and citizens, which is certainly concerning!” Said attorney Jonathan Safran of Kenosha.
Michael Bell of Kenosha said, “We are shaking our heads in Kenosha as the officer involved in 2 shootings in 10 days, was placed on a billboard by the union and thanked before the investigation of the 2nd shooting by DCI is complete.”
At the center of their attention is a local billboard featuring Kenosha Police officer Pablo Torres.
The billboard is causing division in Kenosha because Torres has been involved in two shootings in 11 days last month.
Torres is pictured on the billboard next to canine officer Chico at the intersection of 30th Avenue and Roosevelt Road. In bold type it reads “Thank you for your support, Kenosha.”
The billboard was paid for by the Kenosha Professional Police Association
Kenosha Police Detective Pete Deates, president of the police association said the billboard was put up to simply say thank you for the support police receives from the community.
However, some argue its in poor taste considering the officer on the billboard is involved in an investigation in a second shooting resulting in the death of 26-year-old Aaron Siler of Kenosha on March 14.
Torres was cleared in a March 4 non-fatal shooting of Terry Knight, 66, of Kenosha. The 19-year department veteran remains on administrative leave until the March 14 shooting review is completed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
Some residents are asking why would the police association feature Torres who is still under an active investigation for the killing of Aaron Siler after a car chase and foot pursuit in the 2100 block of 56th Street, according to police and news reports. It was Torres’ first day back from administrative leave from the March 4 shooting.
Mayor Keith Bosman is quoted in the Kenosha News as saying, “I’m very confident officer Torres will be exonerated and allowed to come back to work soon,” Bosman said. “We wish the best for him.”