Rallies for Trayvon continue in Milwaukee
Protests also demand justice for Darius Simmons and Derek Williams
Milwaukee, WI – Several hundred people turned out for multiple rallies over the weekend of July 20. Hundreds rallied outside the federal courthouse downtown Milwaukee to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, Darius Simmons and others. The rally was one of about 100 across the country over the weekend that called for Attorney General Eric Holder to press federal charges against George Zimmerman.
Many speakers at the rally demanded justice for Darius Simmons, a 13-year-old Black child killed by his racist neighbor John Spooner. The family's pastor, Steve Jerbi of the All People's Church, championed popular movements in their work toward justice stating, “Justice began when the community rose up and said this verdict will not be accepted. Justice began when Father Groppi and the commandos crossed that bridge,” said Jerbi, in reference to the Milwaukee civil rights leader Father James Groppi.
On July 21, even the pouring rain couldn't stop a rally of 50 people from forming in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on King Dr. Community members spoke in an open forum for over an hour in the cold rain before marching on the Fifth District police station.
Community members filled the police station, demanding to talk to the station commander about the death of Derek Williams, who was killed by Fifth District police officers in 2011. Police initially refused to talk to the protesters, but after loud chants of “No justice, no peace!” erupted, officers were forced to deal with the protesters.
On July 22, John Spooner was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Darius Simmons' family will now pursue a civil case against Milwaukee Police for their inhumane treatment of the grieving family members.