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“Most people just walk right by it:” Racine man facing charges after fight over Confederate flag

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RACINE -- 37-year-old Tajaun Boatner of Racine is facing charges after he allegedly pushed a woman down during a fight over a Confederate flag. The incident occurred on Friday, August 7th in the city of Racine.

Tajaun Boatner

Tajaun Boatner

"Most people just walk right by it," Toni Barribeau says of her Confederate flag.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine police were called the area of 13th and Center around 5:47 p.m. on August 7th after receiving a call about a woman being pushed down by a man.

When officers arrived on scene, they spoke with the victim, who reported that Tajaun Boatner confronted her at her home and pushed her down. The victim told police that the incident occurred during an argument over a Confederate flag hanging in one of her windows.

Nathan Blashka, a neighbor, watched as things quickly became heated.

"He was arguing with her -- asking her politely at first to take down the flag, and then she called him (a racial slur) like five or six times," Blashka said.

According to the complaint, the victim told police she was on her porch when Boatner confronted her regarding a Confederate flag hanging in her kitchen window. The victim stated that Boatner asked her to take the flag out of her window and she did so, moving it into the bathroom window. The victim claims this upset Boatner  -- and both parties began yelling at each other.

Toni Barribeau

Toni Barribeau

The complaint indicates that the victim then told Boatner to leave. That's when Boatner allegedly walked up her porch and pushed her down. The victim claims Boatner then entered her residence and removed the flag from the window.

"After he decided to call me names, and after he pushed me into the kitchen, that's when I called him the (racial slur) because no one has the right to put their hands on anybody," Barribeau said.

Shortly after police arrived on scene, they located Boatner walking down the street nearby. When police stopped Boatner, he became "extremely argumentative" with the officers, according to the complaint.

Toni Barribeau's Confederate flag

Toni Barribeau's Confederate flag

The complaint says "due to the initial complaint of being pushed down by Boatner, along with Boatner's argumentative and confrontational demeanor towards the officers, the officers made a decision to detain Boatner in handcuffs." During that time, police say Boatner became "resistive," "extremely loud and argumentative and refused to spread his feet so that a pat down could be conducted for weapons."

After police arrested Boatner, he began pushing against the officers. Once he was placed in the transport wagon, he reportedly kicked at the officers.

Tajaun Boatner is charged with criminal trespassing, misdemeanor battery, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor theft and obstruction of an officer.

Barribeau was also arrested after this incident, and charged with disorderly conduct. She says she plans to fight the allegations against her in court.

Barribeau says despite her language during this fight, her Confederate flag isn't a symbol of hate.

But neighbors disagree.

"I don't think that flag should be in any neighborhood," a neighbor said.

As for her Confederate flag, Barribeau says it's no longer in a window, and instead, she has hung it inside her home.

Boatner has an open case out of Racine County filed in March 2015 for misdemeanor battery. He is set to stand trial in that case -- and he'll be in court on September 10th for a pre-trial conference.

13 comments

  • Opinion8d

    Free speech…What?!? Sad day when you aren’t free to express yourself – deemed hateful or not. Typical guy who is combative to police…guess ‘the man’ has been keeping him down…..pos!

  • Michael Williams

    Now I’m against using racial slurs for any reason but when it becomes a first amendment issue I will stand by this woman and her right to display the flag.

    No one has the right to tell her what she can and cannot put in her Window.

    I will also stand by the rights of people that don’t like this flag to burn it.

    It’s their right to burn it as much as it is for me to fly it.

    And no man has the right to put their hands on a woman.

    Educate yourself.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R4PK04g9k2o

    About this.

  • smh

    They charged HER with disorderly conduct too? She was in her own house!!! She needs to get a bigger flag, a shotgun, and a good hose to spray the remains out of her doorway the next time some extremely weak person is so offended by words or a flag that they assault her over it. Use it as bait to draw the idiots in. The world will be a better place without people like the assailant.

  • Jayy

    Yada Yada Yada!!! If blacks displayed items of hate towards whites it’ll be all over CNN and new laws will be made in order to stop it but because the roles arent as such, “she has a right” lol. You people kill me. It’ll be a great day on earth if he gets a slap on the wrist like all white people when they commit crimes.

  • ladybuginca

    Where does this idiot get off telling people what to do with their property? She should of just told him to stay off her property walked in called the cops. He walked in shoot him.
    I suppose it was the flag that made him a loser and guess he needed to look around to have someone else to blame for the lazy man, don’t matter what color that’s what they do look for so like else to blame but seems to be more of them in the blavk community so what’s up with that?
    I don’t agree with calling him racial names even if that is what he was acting like she owed him no response other than to get off her property, bet he won’t be so tough with those white Boyz in jail who may not take to kindly to the crazy attacking women.
    maybe he thought Obama had him covered as he appears to be starting all this BS that wasn’t there before and how easily the dumb and gullible can be taken in by it. Just amazes me how childish and idiotic people can act.

  • shockedonlooker

    But it’s okay to blast their clearly racist rappers spewing Caucasian hate in every neighborhood and make sure their toddlers listen to it too. Gee, I’m offended that I have to listen to it every time I sit at a stop light or my crackhead neighbor fires up his car thumpers. I must think about physically assaulting them and rip out their car stereo.

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