“Why are they doing this to us?” Family of Aaron Siler “deeply offended” by billboard featuring Officer Torres

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KENOSHA (WITI) -- The family of Aaron Siler, shot and killed by Kenosha Police Officer Pablo Torres on March 14th is deeply offended by a new billboard that popped up in Kenosha on Monday, April 20th. They're calling for the billboard to be taken down.

Officer Pablo Torres billboard

Siler's family calls the billboard "disrespectful" and "very painful." The group behind it says that wasn't their intention.

The billboard is located near 30th and Roosevelt in Kenosha. It is paid for by the Kenosha Professional Police Association, and it says "Thank you for your support Kenosha." It features a photo of Officer Torres.

The billboard is drawing mixed reaction.

"We have great law enforcement. Thank you for keeping us safe," Gary Kunich said.

"Instantly started crying. I was so heartbroken," Kathy Willie said.

Aaron Siler

Aaron Siler

26-year-old Siler was shot and killed by Torres, an 18-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department on March 14th -- near 22nd Avenue and 56th Street in Kenosha.

The incident began just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday, when officers attempted to arrest Siler — wanted on an active felony probation and parole warrant. Siler initiated a vehicle pursuit with officers, and after crashing his vehicle, he took off running. Officers pursued Siler on foot, and when Siler was confronted by Officer Torres, police say Siler armed himself with a weapon.

Officer Torres then fired his handgun — striking and killing Siler.

This incident occurred on Torres' first day back on patrol after another officer-involved shooting that occurred 10 days prior.

On March 4th, police say a man advanced on officers armed with two knives. That man was shot by Officer Torres.

It happened in the 1500 block of 84th Street shortly before noon.

Kenosha police say just before 11:45 a.m., they received a 911 call from a woman reporting her husband had gone into the garage to “kill himself.”

Pablo Torres

Pablo Torres

Officers arrived at the home and found the 64-year-old man armed with two knives. He was seated inside a running vehicle in the garage.

Police say the man failed to follow orders to drop the knives, and he began to advance on the officers. In order to stop the threat, Officer Torres fired one round at the man. The man was hit in his abdomen. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, and he was expected to survive.

The man’s wife tells FOX6 News he is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I was screaming ‘my husband is a veteran. Don’t hurt my husband.’ They know he had a mental problem. He was not out to hurt them — only himself,” the man’s wife said.

Officer Torres was placed on administrative leave following this incident. After being on leave and attending annual in-service training, Torres returned to work on Saturday, March 14th.

"I have to see this billboard every time I have to come into town with his smiling face on it," Willie said.

Willie is a close friend of Aaron Siler's mom.

"I felt like they were saying thank you for killing Aaron," Willie said.

Willie says she had to call Siler's mom to tell her about the billboard.

"She just starts sobbing. You know, why are they doing this to us?" Willie said.

Gary Kunich wasn't involved with the billboard, but he says Torres once protected his wife at a Kenosha hospital.

"He saved her life and doctors, nurses and other patients there when a patient got violent. I sleep safely at night because of people like Officer Torres. The vast majority of people are grateful for that service he provides day in an day out," Kunich said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting that killed Siler. His family expects a decision in the case in a few weeks.

"(This billboard is) up before the investigation is even done," Willie said.

The Kenosha Professional Police Association said this in a statement to FOX6 News:

"The recent incidents in the community have greatly impacted many people, including the officer, his family and the entire police department.

We have been humbled by the outpouring of support the community has given us and we wanted to simply say thank you for that support."

Torres remains on leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting that killed Siler.


  • chris

    Yes thank you Kenosha Police for taking two turds off the street permanantly. Just waiting for the Bells and Hamiltons to chime in their 2 worthless cents on this.

    • Knave Murdok

      It’s actually against the law for a cop to fire at a fleeing suspect. you’re cheering for a cop who believes himself to be above the law. You are cheering for a thug.

      • Scott Cowden

        Ummmm…yeah. Sorry there Bruce, but that piece of garbage got what was coming to him. And for the record, he wasn’t fleeing. He was coming at the cops with a weapon. Get your facts right before you go off defending the criminals. Another Child Left Behind heard from…so sad.

      • LeRoy

        This scumbag fled from police who were trying to arrest him on a felony warrant. He fled in a car and crashed it into a tree and another car. He then fled on foot. When police chased him and caught up to him; he turned and armed himself with a weapon (Gun) and turned on the police officers. He confronted them with a deadly weapon. That got him shot. He was not just running away.

        Knave Murdok: Go back to school and lean how to read. This was all stated in the article. How long have you been out of prison on your last felony conviction?

  • blobenator

    Keep the message up! too bad its hurtful to some. How much cocaine and other illegal street drugs were in this turds system at the time of the offense? so sick and tired of people bashing the police. You don’t see police departments getting on the news saying its hurtful that people are bashing them. Too bad…. leave the message up…I love seeing the support! Hi Chico

  • chris

    Hey Siler family, why don’t you ask why did my son disregard the safety of others and put the officer in the position that he had to shoot your son instead of trying to get the libs to join your pity party.

  • Opinion8d

    Love the billboard. I’m so tired of ignorant cop-bashing people. Most people have respect for the police and law, it’s the people that don’t who are causing all the ruckus. If you can’t follow lawful commands, then you risk losing your life or getting hurt. I don’t have any sympathy for any of these people.

  • Jane

    When you choose to engage in criminal activity and you choose to run or arm yourself against the police then you have chosen to be shot. Stop bashing the police for doing their jobs and take responsibility for your own actions. These are not law abiding citizens being shot these are criminals and drug addicts. If the billboard makes you feel uncomfortable maybe it’s your shame that you raised a felon and we all know it. Thank you to all the cops who risk their life’s everyday.

    • LeRoy

      Siler’s family wants everyone to know what a good young man he was. Like every thugs family and friends claim their family member was.

      Siler pulled a gun on cops while cops were trying to arrest him on a felony warrant.

      He has had run-ins with cops before. He raped a 3 year old daughter of a female friend in 2011. In 2013, he was convicted of strangulation and suffocation of his then girlfriend and mother of his child. In 2013, he jumped bail. And since he was being pursued on a felony warrant; he must have been up to more no good. This guy was not some punk doing some petty misdemeanor. This guy did really bad things and was a felon that was going to continue endangering lots of people. Wisconsin is a much better place without Aaron Siler!!!

  • dan w.

    If the Kenosha Professional Police Association were sincerely interested in promoting a safer community–and that would include creating safer working conditions for their own members–they would have donated that money to local mental health service agencies instead of spending it on a billboard to promote themselves.

    • Jim K

      Actually, they also donate money on an annual basis to many local charities. I see no self-promotion here, but a simple message of thanks. Otherwise, what they do with their money is there business, just like no one has the right to tell you what to do with your money.

  • CW

    This is a sad situation all around. I am acquainted with Officer Torres, and he is one of The Nicest Guys you could ever meet. He’s the officer always volunteering to do stuff with the kids in the community, especially with his police dog, to whom he is devoted. He has always been actively engaged with kids and the community. He did not ask to be in either of these situations, and from what I have heard through family friends (and is consistent with what I know if him) was emotionally gutted by both incidents. Siler was a childhood friend of his. I doubt he was eager to pull a trigger on him. But he has his own life to think of, too, with a wife and kid to go home to.

    Ironically, he probably saved that vet’s life. He was about to kill himself. And it is far from unheard of for a suicidal person (possibly having a psychotic break) to take out others along with himself, so in this case, I do believe the officer had cause to feel threatened.

    The choice of his photo for the billboard, I think, is a gesture of support for a good officer and good person, as he is widely regarded by his fellow officers, family, friends, and community. I understand how it would be painful to Siler’s family, and I feel for them. I don’t know if there was a way for the KPPA to express the one without risk of the other. Is it worth it, given the emotional toll on a family that has had plenty of emotional toll? I don’t know. Torres’ family has had plenty of emotional toll, too.

    It’s unfortunate that Officer Torres is being lumped in with the rest of the national stories about justified and unjustified use of force by police, each of which has its own particular details that get muddled and distorted by that lumping. I am incensed by some of those events, and some of them do seem to me to be justified. But each is different, and their proximity to each other (and even the proximity of these two events involving this officer) does not change the circumstances of any. Let’s remember that both of the men who were shot by Officer Torres were not only resisting and defying an officer of the law, but actively threatening him, with weapons. That is not in dispute.

    I feel for all involved.

  • Scott Cowden

    Hip Hip Hooray for the KPPA!!! Don’t you DARE bow to the pressure the family of this criminal is trying to lay on you. This fool brought it ALL on himself by A: Being a criminal. B: Having outstanding warrants. C: Running from the cops. & D: Coming at them with a weapon. Bad calls all around there. He got what was coming to him.

    • Just me

      you are the real turd, it’s Bayard like you y that corrupt the police department and give them a bad name

  • chris

    Hey knave it’s actually not against the law for an officer to shoot at a fleeing felon. If the officer believes that the person fleeing would pose a bigger threat to the public if left at large the officer is justified to shoot to protect the greater good. See Tennessee V Garner.

  • Joshua Gonzales

    I know him and his family. He is a very respected man in the community. He does a lot for the kids in the area. Chico is awesome too!

  • Steve

    And everyday I have to hear the whines of selfish family members of criminals wjo simply get what the deserved.

  • Kw

    It’s coming upon a year and still no decision from the DA regarding the outcome, I CAN tell you first hand I sat in on that meeting with DA Zapf, someone from Madison who did the investigation, a advocacy lady, someone from the police dept that helps find specialists to see if it was justified, 2 attorneys the family retained, the mother, his sister, his father ( may he rest in peace) this was to much for him to live with, and myself….and just let me tell all you people that are speculating about weapons, guns, knives, none of those FACTS HAVE been released to the public, we who were at the meeting know some very important basic facts, and all I’m going to say about that is never judge a situation until you have the facts…this is going on a year and this tradegy has ripped this family apart, the grief was to unbearable for his father, he passed away in December, but before that it split this family up…instead of bringing them closer it tore them apart, I may not be a Blood Relative but Lisa is considered my sister her kids call me aunt, mine do the same. I was in the delivery room with Aaron when he came into this world…yes he had gotten into trouble as a teen and a young adult and all we could do was talk to him and try to encourage him to do the right things. One of the proudest days was the birth of his daughter. Aaron got incarcerated for some horrific allegations and served 2 years until the judge decided enough was enough with the DA dragging their feet, no evidence, lost evidence, etc. but I’m not here as his aunt defending his troubles, all we could do was talk with him and try to put him on the right path . We could not ALWAYS be by his side holding his hands telling him what to do. Some very vindictive people told his landlord about the allegations and Aaron was kicked out, but they failed to tell the landlord they were allegations and all charges were dropped. He did serve time for a fight with his daughters mother, but they were working towards getting their family and moving and starting fresh somewhere. Well Aaron was harassed by a lot of people and fell back into hanging with the wrong crowd, he was not wanted on a felony warrant, it was just a warrant for not checking in with his PO, he was afraid to go back to jail, so he kept avoiding her. The family all told him to just go see her and face the music. His choices were his, all we could do was encourage him to do the right thing. We all agree Aaron should not have ran, he should of followed the officers commands, but nobody knows how they will react in that kind of situation. But this young man did not deserve to die….Chico should of had Aaron to the ground before he even made it across the field. We have FACTS about that also straight from the DA, and the weapons everyone said he had, the knife, a gun, a pipe…well let me assure you that we know the weapon Aaron had and I think the public will be surprised to find out what it was and why he lost his life over it…..remember I was in that meeting and hearing all this. There are still a lot of stuff we don’t know, but we know the weapon, how many shots were fired and where he was hit, we know about the police car the dog was I and the remote the officer has in his possession. So I ask that until the DA decides what to do about this case, please have respect for the family that he did leave behind. This has been the most difficult thing to go through, I would not wish this pain, on anyone. So I am just asking that people keep their opinions to themselves until the facts are released…..Thank You!

Comments are closed.