Monona officers responding to burglary report with guns drawn handcuff black man in home, later apologize

23-year-old who was detained files formal complaint
Monona police

MONONA, Wis. — The Monona Police Department apologized to a man after officers entered a home with their guns drawn and handcuffed him Tuesday morning, according to a report.

Monona police said the department is investigating the citizen complaint that led officers to the home at 10:50 a.m. in the 5100 block of Arrowhead Drive.

According to the report, police received a report from a resident who called about a suspicious person.

“The resident did identify the individual sitting in front of the home as African American, however that was not conveyed to the responding officers,” the report said.

The resident told police that the home had been vacant after the previous resident passed away and she didn’t believe the person she observed should be there.

Officers found the front door unsecured when they arrived. The release said the officers knocked and announced their presence. Officials said they heard someone talking inside but no one had come to greet them.

“Following protocol, believing this was possibly a burglary to a residence, they entered the house with guns drawn,” police said.

Officers made contact with a 23-year-old black man and placed him in handcuffs while they investigated, the report said. The man told officers he was renting the house from the previous homeowner’s son.

Officers contacted the homeowner’s son and he confirmed that a friend of the man they had detained was the renter, and that he knew the man who was detained.

“Given the circumstances, the handcuffs were removed from the subject,” the report said. “Officers apologized for the misunderstanding and they cleared from the call.”

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, police said. One of the officers involved 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,” the police department said in a statement. “This complaint will be thoroughly investigated.”