A Black man in Monona, Wisconsin was held at gunpoint by police in his own home after neighbors said they didn’t recognize him. Keonte Furdge has now filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the two responding officers.
According to WKOW, the incident occurred shortly after Furdge moved into the home. The 23-year-old and his friend, Toren Young, were renting the house from the son of the deceased former owner. A neighboring woman reported Furdge to the cops, saying that they had seen him sitting on the house’s front porch and that the house was supposed to be vacant. According to Complex, the woman also told police that Furdge was African American, though his race allegedly was not disclosed to the officers dispatched to the scene.
When officers Jared Wedig and Luke Wunsch arrived at the house, they reportedly found Furdge’s door unlocked. The Monona Police Department claims the cops knocked and announced their presence. When no one came to the door, they reportedly believed the situation was a possible burglary. They entered the home with their guns drawn, which the police department says is protocol for robberies.
Furdge was detained by the cops and placed in handcuffs. After learning that Furdge lived at the home, the officers removed the handcuffs and apologized for what they called a misunderstanding.
Last week, Furdge filed a federal lawsuit against both Wedig and Wunsch and the City of Monona to “vindicate the violation of [his] constitutional rights.” According to the suit, Furdge is also suing the officers and city to make sure nothing like this ever happens to another Monona resident.
“Punishing the defendants for their egregious conduct with the hope that the punishment is significant enough to prevent this from happening again in the future, so that a person can move into a formerly vacant house in the City of Monona and sit on his front porch without having to fear that the police will break in and shoot him,” the suit reads.
Following the incident, the police department reportedly began a review of their suspected burglary procedure.