This article has been revised since its original posting.
An online petition in support of Kenosha Police officer Kendal West has garnered more than 700 signatures since launching Tuesday afternoon.
West was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and misconduct in public office for an incident that occurred while he was on duty and in police uniform on Jan. 1. West is accused of leaving his assigned patrol area and punching a man who was in a romantic relationship with his wife.
West was arrested that night after an investigation by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department, which handled the case through an agreement with Kenosha Police, and he spent the weekend in Racine County Jail. The 29-year-old military veteran is out on bond and on administrative leave.
On Sunday, Kenosha Ald. Kevin Mathewson called for West’s termination. However, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said Monday that disciplinary action would be decided after the investigation into the incident is completed.
“While we realize there need to be consequences for actions taken, removing West from the force is not advantageous to the department, to the city of Kenosha or to its citizens,” the Change.org petition reads. “To define West’s entire career by an extremely brief lapse in judgment is unduly harsh given the type of citizen and officer he is.”
Julie Hayward Brantley said she created the petition Tuesday.
“I want to get as many signatures as possible,” Hayward Brantley said. “One thousand would be great; 10,000 would be better.”
Hayward Brantley said she met West a few times and was deeply impressed with his character and work ethic. She said she launched the petition out of frustration with Mathewson, saying he was “jumping the gun.”
“I really have a hard time erasing all the good (West) has done,” she said.
According to department documents, West was hired as a probationary officer in 2013. He graduated from Gateway Technical College’s 15-week law enforcement program in spring 2015.
A counter petition was launched on Wednesday, calling for West’s termination.
“Officer West has abused the authority he has be given, misused the police departments equipment, and shown a lack of ability to control himself in a stressful situation,” that petition reads. “Officer West has shown that he is unable to control his actions; he is unable to show restraint and can no longer act in the best interests of the public.”