Updated as of 10/28/2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET
The white man caught on video grabbing a young Black man by his throat has been charged with disorderly conduct, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Previously, the police department said they were investigating the incident yet, locals were concerned the authorities were moving too slow.
Robert Walczykowski, 62, could face a short period of jail time or a fine of $1,000 if convicted on the misdemeanor. Two days after the incident, the young man’s mother called the police to turn over two bikes to the police department that she said did not belong to her family.
The criminal complaint stated that the young man has disabilities and is hard to understand sometimes.
In the viral video, the young Black man is on a bike and Mr. Walczykowski is blocking him from moving. Walczykowski holds a phone to his ear, appearing to call 911 and is heard telling the operator that the young man stole the bike out of his friend’s yard. Despite the man’s desperate cries that he didn’t steal anything, Walczykowski grabbed him from behind by his neck. The person recording removes Walczykowski’s hand from the man’s neck to which Walczykowski gives him the finger.
“You ain’t gotta touch his neck like that. He’s a kid,” the recorder says off camera. He then orders the other kids riding their bikes in the streets to notify the young man’s guardians of what’s going on.
Read more on the incident from WISN 12 News:
Deangelo Wright told WISN 12 News reporter, Kendall Keys, that he was driving when he saw the encounter in the middle of the street. He exited his car to film.
“Just looking at it, it just looked like he was choking a kid. It was sad and very upsetting,” Wright said. Wright said he felt compelled to intervene.
“He was shaking. He didn’t really know what was going on, like he was confused. I was telling everyone, God puts you in the situation for a reason, and I think that was for that young man’s sake,” Wright said.
Look at what racism has made white people do: storm the Capitol, shoot up a supermarket and senselessly assault Black people. Now in Milwaukee, we’ve found another example. Locals seemed to have responded to the incident faster than the police.
Local activist Vaun Mayes organized a protest outside Walczykowski’s home, chanting with help of two large speakers sitting on the back of a pickup truck, per WISN. Mayes called Walczykowski a “vigilante” wannabe like Ahmaud Arbery’s killers who falsely accused Arbery of a crime and took it upon themselves to prosecute and persecute him.
Twitter reacted in complete outrage not only to the video but the slow action from the police department. Two users cited Wisconsin’s criminal code for assault of an individual with a disability and false imprisonment as suggestions for what charges Walczykowski should face. Looks like he’ll receive a slap on the wrist.