Jeramey Jannene

911 Audio from Joel Acevedo Case Released

"I want to go home," says Acevedo. Family still seeking body camera footage.

By - Dec 17th, 2020 03:47 pm
A mural honoring Joel Acevedo on W. Greenfield Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A mural honoring Joel Acevedo on W. Greenfield Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Joel Acevedo died in April after being placed into a chokehold by off-duty Milwaukee Police Department officer Michael Mattioli. A 911 call covering much of the incident was released this week.

The officer, who was hosting an illegal party at his W. Cleveland Ave. home amidst the Safer at Home order, placed Acevedo into a chokehold from which Acevedo later died. He said Acevedo, a guest at the April 19th party, tried to steal from him.

Mattioli, who faces a homicide charge, resigned from MPD in September and entered a not guilty plea. He is suing to prevent the release of body camera footage from responding officers.

Acevedo, 25, can be heard in the background of the call saying “I want to go home.” The phrase has become a rallying cry for racial justice protest marches in Milwaukee, which have now gone on for over 200 days.

“He was in that chokehold longer than George Floyd was being strangled,” said attorney Ben Crump in a press conference Thursday. Acevedo’s legal team believes he was in a chokehold for 11 minutes and 20 seconds. The 911 call is three minutes long.

“This was not a threat, this was a plea,” said Acevedo’s mother Maribel Acevedo of her son’s last words. “They refused to let him go home.”

“There’s a man that’s attacking us,” says the unidentified caller, who says he has a bloody nose. Mattioli, then 32, identified himself earlier in the call as a police officer. “You can’t do two things at one time sufficiently is very true in Joel’s case,” said attorney B’Ivory LaMarr. “You heard that Joel was an aggressor, but you also hear Joel clearly gagging.”

“You f*cking want to blame this on me,” says Mattioli in the background to Acevedo. “You’re going to blame this on everybody but you. You f*cking did this.”

“I got him Michael don’t worry,” says a third individual after Mattioli stops yelling at Acevedo.

Acevedo’s legal team is calling for the other two individuals present to be charged. Acevedo’s father Jose Acevedo identified them as Christopher Peters and former parole officer Andrew Janowski.

LaMarr said the legal team has been shown some of the body camera footage from responding officers. “You can also see another individual holding Joel’s legs down while officer Mattioli was choking him,” said the attorney.

“It’s going to show his aggression,” said Jose of Mattioli in the body camera footage. “This is why they’re trying to hide the body camera.” He said District Attorney John Chisholm isn’t being transparent on the matter and needs to release the footage. Jose said the video would reveal the incident wasn’t about an alleged theft.

“It’s important for the public to see how these police officers are engaged in excessive force and brutality, especially against minorities,” said Crump.

LaMarr said the 911 audio and body camera video were requested in May. “We are asking for transparency and it’s been long overdue from the time it’s been released to this family,” he said. The Acevedo legal team only received the 911 call in the last 30 days said LaMarr. “The City of Milwaukee deserves to know exactly what happened on April 19th.”

Crump said “a civil rights wrongful death” lawsuit is forthcoming. “We plan on exploring every possible legal remedy to get some sense of justice,” he said.

The Fire & Police Commission partially banned the use of chokeholds last week. “We would have liked to see a total ban,” said LaMarr.

The next hearing in Mattioli’s homicide case is scheduled for March 8th, 2021.

“All we want is for the truth to come out. We want justice for my son Joel,” said Jose Acevedo. “My son’s life was taken away for nothing.”

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

Categories: Public Safety

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us