Pattern and practice of potential police misconduct warrants federal investigation
Joint Statement from members of the Common Council
For more than half a year, the Milwaukee community and many of us on the Common Council have waited for some indication that justice will be done in the case of the illegal strip searches some Milwaukee Police Department personnel are accused of carrying out. It has been a long wait.
But with the announcement this week that the District Attorney has brought criminal charges against four police officers in that case, we have reason to hope. The details of the charges against these men are shocking, and warrant a swift and thorough prosecution that restores residents’ faith in the justice system.
We anticipate discussing the nature of these charges in-depth in the city’s Public Safety Committee. Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs introduced, Aldermen Willie L. Hines, Jr., Ashanti Hamilton, Willie C. Wade and Nik Kovac co-sponsored, and the Common Council passed a resolution that requires MPD and the Fire and Police Commission to report their findings within 30 days of concluding investigations into the matter. The public release of further details about these alleged crimes is critical to maintaining the accountability our constituents demand.
Further, we feel a broader view of the situation is warranted in order to look into potential patterns and practices of police misconduct and civil rights violations in the Milwaukee Police Department. We are now requesting that the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin conduct a general federal investigation into the entire department.