Graham Kilmer
MKE County

No Criminal Charges in Brieon Green Suicide

DA finds no liability for sheriff's officers overseeing county jail where suicide occurred.

By - Jan 11th, 2023 08:02 pm
Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office issued its determination Wednesday “finding no basis for criminal liability” in the death by suicide of 21-year-old Brieon Green, the Milwaukee County Sheriff‘s Office announced.

Green died June 26, 2022 shortly after being arrested and taken into the custody of the Milwaukee County Jail. Green’s family and their attorney were allowed to view footage of his death from a jail video in December. They said it showed a correctional officer walking past the cell Green was in as he committed suicide with a telephone cord.

“We saw an officer go by Brieon Green’s cell during the course of him taking his life,” attorney B’Ivory LaMarr said. “Brieon Green had a phone cord, literally strangling himself with a phone cord while the sheriff officer goes directly past the cell while he was supposed to be conducting a cell check.”

The family and community groups had been calling for footage of the incident since Green’s death. The case was investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, per state law, which does not allow law enforcement agencies to investigate the death of someone in their custody.

The MCSO statement said the DA determined there was no criminal liability “on the part of any person, including any employee of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.”

“The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office has opened an internal investigation into the matter to determine whether any MCSO policies or procedures were violated and to see if any additional steps can be taken in the future,” the agency said.

On Dec. 16, a 20-year old woman died in the jail. The sheriff’s office reported that it was another apparent suicide. She had been in custody since February, and was found “conscious but in distress in her cell by [county jail] personnel at 10:30 a.m.” Medical personnel and first responders were summoned and she was declared dead 45 minutes later at 11:15 a.m, the sheriff’s office reported.

The agency has not released any further details on the woman’s death and that incident is also being investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department.

The MCSO has been struggling with both overcrowding and understaffing in jail. In 2022, the agency was at approximately 50% strength for correctional officers in the jail and was frequently above the facility’s 960-person population limit, according to MCSO officials. Both inmates and members of the MCSO have described deteriorating living conditions in the jail over the past year.

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