Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Milwaukee community rallies for hard-fought police accountability measure as judge’s decision looms

By staff

Picket at Milwaukee police union offices demand greater transparency and accountability. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – Ahead of Judge Brittany Grayson’s decision regarding Standard Operating Procedure 575, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held a press conference and picket outside of the Milwaukee Police Association on Friday, March 15.

SOP 575 is a policy requiring the Milwaukee Police Department to release the footage of any critical incident to the victim’s next of kin within 48 hours and to the community within 15 days. The Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) sued the city of Milwaukee and filed an injunction against SOP 575, which prevented it from being implemented after being passed last April. However, Milwaukeeans have not let up in their defense of this hard-fought victory.

The first action of the day was a press conference inside Milwaukee City Hall, where the Milwaukee Alliance and the families of Dontre Hamilton, Brieon Green and Cilivea Thyrion spoke.

“We’re calling on Judge Grayson to do the right thing,” said Brian Verdin, the education chair of the Milwaukee Alliance.

Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton and longtime community activist, said her son’s death, “We’ve been fighting to see the body camera footage since 2015. There’s still no transparency.”

Drawing connections to the longstanding issues with the Milwaukee County Jail (MCJ), Kerrie Hirte spoke on the death of her daughter Cilivea Thyrion, 20, in the MCJ, “They continue to withhold the video, and I continue to fight. I’m here to fight with other moms who have had children pass before my daughter. And I will continue to stand with these women and fight for what is right for your community and other communities.”

Laquita Dunlap, mother of Brieon Green, 18, who died in the MCJ stated, “No one wants to take accountability or be transparent about the situation.”

“We need those questions answered about what is happening by the police, what is happening in law enforcement in general that is doing this to our people. We need those answers, and we need them now,” said Alan Chavoya, the outreach chair of the Milwaukee Alliance.

After this press conference, MAARPR was joined by other community organizations and local activists for a picket at the MPA later that day.

Regardless of Judge Grayson’s ruling, Milwaukee will continue to fight for transparency at all levels – with MAARPR’s eyes set on bringing the struggle to the state of Wisconsin in the near future. All power to the people!

#MilwaukeeWI #PeoplesStruggles #MAARPR #PoliceBrutality #CommunityControl