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Vigil to commemorate Cilivea Thyrion held in Milwaukee

By staff

Kerrie Hirte \[center\], mother of Cilivea Thyrion, and Laquita Dunlap \[left\], mother of Brieon Green, continue the fight for victims of Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – On December 16, dozens of community members and the family of Cilivea Thyrion gathered outside of the Milwaukee County Safety Building for a vigil commemorating Thyrion one year after her passing inside the Milwaukee County Jail.

Mark Denning of the Oneida Nation led the participants through a tobacco ceremony and explained Thyrion ’s transition. According to Denning, after the first year of mourning, “We can speak [Cilivea’s] name freely and not worry if she’s being called back. She has something to teach us and we have to figure out what that teaching is.”

The tobacco ceremony was accompanied by a circle in which participants could express to Cilivea Thyrion and her family words of support and encouragement. After these words, Starla Thompson led a group of dancers wearing traditional jingle dresses through multiple dances, symbolizing healing and strength.

Although it’s been over a year since Thyrion’s transition, her mother, Kerrie Hirte, and members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression remain steadfast in the struggle to get justice for Thyrion. As Denning expressed, “The lesson [Cilivea] is teaching us is one so that there aren’t any more cases like Cilivea’s in the jail.”

This is a lesson that remains at the forefront of Kerrie Harte’s, the Milwaukee Alliance’s, and Laquita Dunlap’s (mother of Brieon Green) minds. Laquita Dunlap was also in attendance because, like Kerrie Hirte, she recognizes that there needs to be justice for all the lives that have been lost inside the county jail.

It’s been a lengthy struggle, but thanks to the unwavering support of Thyrion’s and Brieon Green’s families, the Milwaukee Alliance has been able to secure a third party audit of the county jail and is building broad support for transparency and accountability from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

#MilwaukeWI #InJusticeSystem #MAARPR