Rep. Bowen statement on arrest of peaceful protesters at Milwaukee City/County Christmas Tree Lighting
"Not one more penny of taxpayer money should be used to prosecute them."
MILWAUKEE – Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement after the arrest of peaceful protesters at the Milwaukee City/County Christmas Tree Lighting:
“Last week, the City/County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that was supposed to highlight the holiday season’s values of family and goodwill failed to acknowledge a community and family that is hurting. Their hurt stems from April 30, 2014, when the life of a loved one – an unarmed black man with a mental illness who was sleeping in a park – was taken by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Manney did not follow his training or protocol, escalated the situation and shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times. This happened in the same Red Arrow Park where Milwaukee gathered to highlight the holidays and where many forget Dontre existed 18 months prior.
“Nate Hamilton and other advocates should not have been arrested last Thursday night for attempting to remind Milwaukee that the Hamilton family did not receive justice and that Black Lives actually Matter. The charges they face of disorderly conduct for singing freedom songs during the tree lighting ceremony should be dropped immediately. Protesters were arrested and thrown in jail overnight for a civil disobedience arrest and for an oddly excessive amount of time. Not one more penny of taxpayer money should be used to prosecute them. They deserve an immediate apology from the City and County officials involved.
“After all, if we truly want to acknowledge the values of the holiday season we should be inclusive and extend those values to how we treat everybody – even protesters who dare to shed light on our wrongdoings.”
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