KENOSHA, Wis. - A 62-year-old Zion, Illinois activist is charged in Kenosha County with crimes he allegedly committed last August -- a day after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The accused is Clyde McLemore -- and he faces the following criminal counts:
- Attempt battery to a law enforcement officer
- Disorderly conduct
McLemore is seen on video kicking a door as an officer tried to pull it shut. Prosecutors claim McLemore intended to break the officer's fingers. McLemore and his attorney are challenging the accusations.
According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 24, 2020, the day after the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer, "an unruly crowd formed and attempted to force their way into the PSB (Public Safety Building" in Kenosha. Officers from Kenosha's Civil Disturbance Response Team (CDRT) were dispatched to the scene to "dispel the crowd and get the doors to the PSB closed."
The complaint indicates a detective was contacted by a person who wished to remain anonymous -- and said "a known activist and self-proclaimed founder of the Lake County Chapter of Black Lives Matter, Clyde McLemore, the defendant, posted images of himself on his Facebook page from the incident." The images in question "reportedly showed the defendant kicking the front door of the PSB and bragging that he was trying to break the officer's fingers who was pulling the door shut." A detective reviewed the photos and some video.
Protesters kick door at Kenosha Public Safety Building
The complaint says the detective "also uncovered videos posted by FOX6, which showed the incident from a different angle and clearly showed the defendant kicking the door just moments after (an officer) cleared his hands." That officer stated, "while he was attempting to secure the entrance to the PSB, he was met by aggressive, violent, and disorderly protesters who were attempting to forcefully pull the entrance doors from him while throwing full water bottles and other solid objects at them."
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"Clyde McLemore did not try to do anything or attack any police officer. He was there, he was protesting, he had every right to be there. He didn’t commit any crimes and we certainly plan to use all available legal means to fight this case," said Deja Vishney, who is representing McLemore. "He didn’t commit any crimes and we certainly plan to use all available legal means to fight this case."
Due to the actions of protesters that day, the complaint says "the door had been damaged at the hinge area where the door fastened to the frame, making it difficult to secure."
The Black Lives Matter Chapter of Lake County, Illinois released a statement on McLemore's case on Monday. It says, "This prosecution against Mr. McLemore, who never caused any harm, speaks volumes and exposes the true agenda of the Kenosha Police Department."
The complaint against McLemore was filed on Friday, Feb. 19. There has since been an arrest warrant issued for McLemore. He is due in court on Wednesday.