Contentious Milwaukee County board meeting moves jail report to the Committee of the Whole
Milwaukee, WI – On Thursday, September 21, the Milwaukee County board of supervisors discussed whether to file the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office’s (MCSO) report on the Milwaukee County Jail. If filed, this would mean the board of supervisors accepts the MSCO’s report, effectively eliminating the possibility of any further public discussion on the report at county board meetings. The MCSO produced this report after significant public pressure demanding transparency and accountability from the office.
After Thursday’s contentious meeting, the county board has moved the report to the Committee of the Whole, which will meet on September 28 and where members of the public will have the opportunity to offer comments.
During the meeting, two county supervisors made separate motions to move the report back to separate committees, including the Judiciary, Law Enforcement and General Services Committee (JLEGS), where the report was introduced. These motions were strongly opposed by County Supervisors Anthony Staskunas, Steve Taylor, and Patti Logsdon, who have veiled their stances against transparency and accountability by targeting County Supervisor Ryan Clancy.
Rather than focus on the contents of the MCSO’s report, these county supervisors resorted to accusing County Supervisor Clancy of “trying to play out an agenda” and claiming that the JLEGS Committee, which Clancy chairs, “lacked decorum.” In other words, they consider a committee in which members of the public are afforded time to challenge the MCSO as one lacking decorum. Logsdon revealed as much when she stated, “If we do have a Committee as a Whole, I will like to have assurance that we will have decorum…as people want to speak out [we] also do not want to hear them speak as they did against the Sheriff’s department. We have to respect – I mean we don’t have to, but I want to respect our Sheriff’s department.”
It’s clear that the supervisors citing a lack of decorum are against transparency and accountability from the MCSO. They stand against the efforts of grassroots organizations and concerned community members who have been demanding answers from the MCSO about the in-custody deaths and deplorable conditions in the jail.
The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Justice for Brieon Green Coalition, and other endorsing organizations have been fighting tirelessly for a civilian accountability council with the power to hold MCSO accountable, control its budget, oversee all investigations regarding issues inside the jail, and create MCSO policy.
The Milwaukee Alliance and allies will continue making these demands heard and will continue mounting the pressure on the MCSO and the County Supervisors who oppose transparency and accountability.