National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter
Press Release

National Lawyers Guild Condemns Wauwatosa Police Department’s Escalation of Violence Against Protestors and Use of Selective Policing


By - Oct 14th, 2020 02:01 pm

October 14, 2020 — The Milwaukee Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild condemns the Wauwatosa Police Department’s selective and excessive measures to disburse and punish peaceful protestors. Local residents from both Milwaukee and Wauwatosa have gathered nightly since Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm’s announcement that no charges would be brought against Officer Joseph Mensah of the Wauwatosa Police Department. The WPD and other law enforcement agencies operating under their guidance have used military surplus vehicles, tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against protestors and commuters, in addition to unfairly detaining and citing them for curfew violations.

It is clear that Wauwatosa sought to limit constitutional rights by instituting a selectively enforced curfew. This 7:00 pm curfew carried an excessive penalty of up to $1000. Ironically, police have targeted protestors protesting violent police behavior, while allowing others who were accosting demonstrators to freely move through Wauwatosa in defiance of the order. Once the curfew was lifted Wauwatosa Police continued to behave unprofessionally and violently toward demonstrators and commuters.

The NLG calls for rigorous investigation into the presence of armed provocateurs who have been harassing protestors, legal observers, and area residents; and also demands an equitable application of the law. The NLG demands that Wauwatosa Police Department and their subordinates (including law enforcement from West Allis, Eau Claire, Whitefish Bay, Menomonee Falls, Ozaukee County, Waukesha, Racine, Lacrosse, Winnebago, Oak Creek, Kenosha and Brookfield) cease implicitly approving the actions of potentially armed counter demonstrators.

Given recent events in which outside provocateurs and armed groups have murdered protestors in Kenosha, openly traveled there to “loot” and potentially “take out” protestors, and plotted to kidnap Governor Megan Whitmer of Michigan, the Wauwatosa Police Department needs to investigate the presence of armed provocateurs instead of appearing to give them free range in and adjoining the Wauwatosa community. Additionally, the WPD needs to begin using de-escalation tactics when working with demonstrators who are gathered to protest the WPD’s history of fatal force.

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