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Milwaukee community holds press conference on Sheriff’s Office ahead of county board meeting

By staff

Kerrie Hirte, mother of MCSO victim Cilivea Thyrion, speaks during a press conference in Milwaukee ahead of a pivotal county board meeting. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – In the lead up to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Committee of the Whole meeting, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held a press conference on Wednesday, September 27. The press conference called attention to the report by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) about certain conditions inside the County Jail and the need for transparency and accountability from both the MCSO and the Board of Supervisors.

As Alan Chavoya, outreach chair of the Milwaukee Alliance, said, “We want to direct attention back to the report by the MCSO.” Last week’s county board meeting became increasingly focused on tensions between county supervisors, which diverted attention away from the contents of the MCSO’s report. “Some county supervisors are choosing to criticize a fellow county supervisor, and this has only served to allow the sheriff to sneak away and not face accountability,” Chavoya continued.

Milwaukee organizers and community members want elected officials who will listen to them and help ensure that the MCSO can face accountability. Even though Sheriff Denita Ball has lost much trust from the residents of Milwaukee, people like Dr. Rose Scott from Prison Action Milwaukee recognize that Sheriff Ball holds the power to change the conditions of the County Jail. “Change is long overdue, but we have a sheriff that could make the change happen,” said Dr. Scott.

While Sheriff Ball could make the necessary changes happen, she’s made it clear that without an elected Civilian Accountability Council with the power to hold the MCSO accountable, the deplorable conditions inside the County Jail won’t change. The report the MCSO produced reveals this much. They claim that the in-custody deaths and the conditions inside the County Jail are due to budgetary and staffing issues.

In other words, they are holding the county hostage and indicating that unless their demands for greater funding are met, they will not take care of the inmates inside the County Jail. Kerrie Hirte, Cilivea Thyrion’s mother, indicated this much when she said, “If we continue this way, we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s another in-custody death in the next month.”

The upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting will offer what may very well be the Milwaukee community’s final opportunity to speak publicly about the MCSO’s subpar report. Should the committee file the MCSO’s report, it will effectively eliminate any future opportunity for public discussion. People have the democratic right to participate in these kinds of discussions, and they should have the democratic right to provide input into how the MCSO functions. Filing the MCSO’s report would mark an attack on these democratic rights and on transparency and accountability.

#MilwaukeeWI #PoliceAccountability #MAARPR #PoliceBrutality