Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

In-Justice System

By staff

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. 


By staff

Protest against police repression in NYC.

New York, NY – The police union that represents NYPD officers, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), has intervened in an historic legal settlement in an attempt to prevent new regulations on how police respond to protests.


By Gabriel Miller

Chicago press conference demands City Council vote down an FOP-aligned arbitrator's decision.

Chicago, IL – In Chicago, the movement to stop police crimes is demanding city hall act to block the most recent attempt by the Fraternal Order of Police to undermine police accountability. Chicago organizers, district councilors and alderpersons spoke in a press conference Thursday September 14, to demand the Chicago City Council vote down an FOP-aligned arbitrator's decision to give officers accused of serious misconduct the choice of behind-closed-doors arbitration instead of going before the Chicago Police Board.

The arbitrator's decision in June comes on the heels of historic democratic gains won by the people of Chicago when they voted in February to elect three district councilors in every police district. The Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance created the 66 directly-elected district-level positions designed to hold the police accountable on a local level, as well as the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA), tasked with drafting policy and hiring the heads of Chicago Police Department and Police Board, among other powers.

The police board was previously the designated decision-making body for any case of alleged police misconduct that was severe enough to warrant firing or suspension of a year or more. It's no accident the FOP is trying to get around the board now that it falls under the purview of the CCPSA, according to Frank Chapman, field organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

“The FOP is invoking arbitration at this particular juncture to undermine the inalienable democratic right of our people to say who polices our communities and how our communities are policed,” Chapman said.

3rd District Councilor Anthony David Bryant agreed with Chapman and emphasized the importance of transparency and community oversight.

The CCPSA and Chicago District Councils are “not led by the mayor’s office, not led by wanna-be politicians. This body is community-driven and community-led,” Bryant said. “The role of transparency is crucial to ensure the system of police accountability is fully functional to address the harm and brutality caused by CPD onto our neighbors.”

20th Ward Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor spoke on the need for real police accountability in light of huge payouts for police crime settlements. “Every city council meeting, we're spending millions and millions of dollars on police misconduct,” Taylor said. The Chicago Tribune reported last week that the Chicago city council has approved $220 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits since 2021.

Edwin Benn, the arbitrator responsible for the June decision, has worked with the FOP since 1978 and has often ruled to promote officers accused of misconduct instead of holding them accountable.

The movement to stop police crimes and its allies have shown their ability to beat the FOP time and again. The movement won at the ballot box in the district council elections, securing 35 district council seats to the FOP's six, and again in the mayoral runoff election, when voters from the South and West Sides showed out in force to defeat the FOP-backed candidate, Paul Vallas.


By Gemini Gnull

Seattle march and rally demands Justice for Jaahnavi Kandula. Fight Back! News /staff.

Seattle, WA – On September 14, over 200 people came to an emergency rally and march organized by the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (SAARPR) to fight for justice following the murder of Jaahnavi Kandula by Kevin Dave, an officer in the Seattle Police Department.


By staff

Milwaukee community opposes more funding for sheriffs. | Fight Back! News staff

Milwaukee, WI – On September 11, at a Judiciary Committee meeting of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, community members took a stance against increased funding for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). The MCSO is seeking a 34% budgetary increase to “look into” the conditions of the county jail and solve their “staffing shortage.” There have been six in-custody deaths within the past year, with no changes in policy or preventative action taken by the MCSO.

Kerrie Hirte gave testimony about the treatment of her daughter Cilivea Thyrion, leading up to her death in December of 2022, describing the mental health care her daughter received as inadequate, lacking privacy and dehumanizing.

“Money is given to you to use wisely, but if it’s not used for the services we need, why give it to them? They’ve been given more money, and yet still people are dying inside the jail. They’ve been given all these things and yet here I am as a mother without a child,” said Hirte. She pledged to keep showing up and fighting in order to stop any other families from going through the same experience.

Representatives of the MCSO stated that more funding would help with better staffing and could help prevent further issues within the jail. County supervisor and chair of the Judiciary Committee, Ryan Clancy, pushed back against this narrative. Clancy asked the MCSO why they hadn’t included any policy changes or action plans in their proposal for a larger budget. He also referenced how the correctional officers have seen two recent raises, yet conditions in the jail have not changed.

“Sheriff Ball ran her campaign on accountability and transparency, and yet there has been none. We need an elected accountability council of the Milwaukee County Jails, now!” stated Tiffany Stark, a member of The Milwaukee Alliance and Coalition for Justice for Brieon Green. The need for transparency and accountability was stressed by all community members who spoke at the meeting, highlighting the larger struggle for police accountability that has been a nationwide struggle.

In order to prevent further deaths and significantly improve the conditions inside the jail, the status quo cannot remain. The Milwaukee Alliance and the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition are demanding the creation of a civilian accountability council with the power to hold the MCSO accountable, control its budget, oversee all investigations regarding issues inside the jail, and create MCSO policy.

#MilwaukeeWI #MAARPR #JusiceforBrieonGreenCoalition

By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Kobi Guillory, Co-Chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

On Thursday, September 7, the people's movements won another historic victory with the removal of the gang database by a unanimous vote of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA). We express our utmost congratulations and gratitude to all the organizations and community members who fought for years to erase the gang database, and to everyone who fought to pass the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance which made the CCPSA a reality. Our movement is powerful and it is growing.

The gang database was a tool of racial profiling which targeted Black and brown people as young as 9 years old by labeling them as gang members, creating barriers to housing and employment and increasing the frequency of violent interactions with police. Youth organizations have led the struggle against the gang database since 2017 and managed to stop earlier iterations of the database from being implemented by the previous mayor, Lori Lightfoot.

Erasing the gang database is exactly the kind of policy change ECPS was intended to enact and make permanent. When Lightfoot tried to instate a new version of the database in 2022, the newly formed CCPSA put a stop to it, and that same Commission, led by community and labor organizer Anthony Driver, scrapped the database altogether on September 7th.

In recent years we have seen monumental wins in the struggle for police accountability such as the passage of ECPS in July.

2021; the elections of Brandon Johnson, progressive alderpersons and a majority of pro accountability District Councilors in February and April this year; and freedom for survivors of police torture and wrongful conviction such as the Hernandez brothers. However, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which fights tooth and nail to maintain police impunity, will try to undo all our victories. We encourage all our allies in the movement to stay ready for the police to try reinstating the gang database through some other avenue, and to fight against the FOP's current attempts to bypass accountability by referring even the most severe cases of misconduct to private arbitration instead of the public Police Board.

As we celebrate this win, now is also the time to further consolidate the gains of ECPS by getting more people to engage with the CCPSA and their local District Councilors, pushing policies such as the Peace Book and Treatment Not Trauma, and opposing all efforts of the FOP to undermine the new system of police accountability. This victory, like all people's victories, has come through unity in the struggles of many diverse communities across the city. We need to maintain this unity as we continue to struggle for the empowerment of the people to truly hold the police accountable.

#ChicagoIL #CAARPR #ECPS #GangDatabase

By staff

LA protest demands justice for Adrian Rios.

Los Angeles, CA – On September 9, 40 friends, family and community members rallied in front of the East LA Sheriff’s station demanding justice for the in-custody brutal murder of Adrian Rios, a 28-year-old Chicano. They were joined by the family of David Ordaz Jr., who was killed by East LA Sheriff’s deputies.


By Alex Carson

Atlanta protest against RICO indictments of stop Cop City protesters.

Atlanta, GA – Community members gathered outside of the Georgia Supreme Court on the evening of September 8 to display their opposition to the extreme state repression that was brought upon activists in the movement to Stop Cop City.


By J. Cortez

Protest demands justice for Patrick Lyoya.

Grand Rapids, MI – On the morning of Wednesday, September 6, cries demanding justice for the murder of Patrick Lyoya resounded from the steps of the State of Michigan Building. There, a three judge Court of Appeals hearing for the ex-police officer, Christopher Schurr, was taking place. Schurr killed the 26-year-old Congolese immigrant Lyoya with a point blank shot to the back of the head during a traffic stop in April of 2022.


By staff

Atlanta, GA – 61 Stop Cop City activists are being indicted on Georgia RICO charges by the state’s attorney general’s office.