The Milwaukee County Human Rights Commissions Denounces Police’s Extrajudicial Killings of Unarmed Black Citizens and the Violent Repression of Protestors
As the entity charged with, among other roles, “… advising the appropriate department or division of county government of the proper procedures for preserving the equal rights of persons as guaranteed by the law,” the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission (MCHRC) expresses it complete lack of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement to protect “…the equal rights of all person in the county.”
The MCHRC acknowledges for decades law enforcement has been culpable in the deaths of Milwaukee County citizens without significant punishment. Shootings by law enforcement, deaths while in the custody of law enforcement, and deaths in correctional facilities have become commonplace across Milwaukee County, as has been the case across the nation. Indeed, it is the violent actions of law enforcement that have spurred the recent protests and demonstrations locally and nationwide. In response to peaceful demonstrations decrying police violence and murder, law enforcement, at the behest of elected officials, has responded to these protest with extreme repression and more violence. In fact, in our current moment law enforcement – aided by the National Guard – continually meet protestors with aggressive force.
As a result of these systemic abuses, the MCHRC is proud to join with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and over 600 domestic and international human rights and civil rights groups in urging:
“…the members of the U.N. Human Rights Council to convene a special session of the HRC in order to respond appropriately to this situation of escalating human right abuses with the aim of mandating an independent inquiry into:
• the recent history of racist policing in cities across the country that continues with seeming impunity from the killing of Michael Brown and the repression of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to the murder of George Floyd.
• allegations of excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and journalists in the demonstrations in U.S. cities since the murder of George Floyd.”
Alongside the aforementioned families and others from across the nation, the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission honors the life and legacies of Milwaukee County residents who have lost their lives, unjustifiably, at the hands of law enforcement. Because righting these wrongs will require sustained commitment in succeeding decades, the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission firmly endorses the African American Roundtable’s call to action, and hereby join dozens of local institutions in demanding the following:
1. Community Investment: A $75 Million Divestment from the Milwaukee Police Department and reinvestment into building healthy communities that can thrive. 2. The rights of protestors are respected and no harm comes to them. 3. Justice for Joel Acevedo: Officer Mattioli must be immediately terminated from the Milwaukee Police Department for the murder of Mr. Acevedo. 4. FPC be the Voice of the Community: The Fire and Police Commission must remain the lead investigator on the internal investigation involving officer Michael Mattioli. 5. Accountability to the Community: Common Council President Cavalier Johnson must immediately appoint community members to the Community Collaborative Committee. 6. Instead of an Executive Order to Activate the National Guard, the Governor & County Executive should provide safeguards to Black communities during COVID-19 pandemic. 7. Housing: Implement a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, rent, mortgages, and utility disconnections for Milwaukee County residents through the end of 2020. 8. Healthcare: Declaration of racism in the State of Wisconsin as a public health crisis. Public and private institutions must be expanded to ensure Milwaukee County Residents have access to affordable health care.
We call upon Milwaukee County officials to go beyond the symbolic language of the recently passed Racial Equity Ordinance, to utilize every resource at their disposal and to take actions now so that the wellbeing, the safety, the dignity, the human rights of all of our citizens can be fully realized.
- 300 Days of Black Lives Matters Protests - Isiah Holmes - Mar 29th, 2021
- Murphy’s Law: 8 Ways Police Mishandled Protests - Bruce Murphy - Mar 24th, 2021
- Milwaukee Police Helped Patrol Tosa Protests? - Isiah Holmes - Mar 17th, 2021
- Evers Reflects on Year of Pandemic, Protests - Shawn Johnson - Dec 28th, 2020
- The Year of the National Guard - Jenny Peek - Dec 28th, 2020
- Baldwin Questions U.S. Marshall’s Role in Tosa Protests - Isiah Holmes - Dec 19th, 2020
- Op Ed: Vote No on COPS Grant - Markasa Tucker - Dec 18th, 2020
- People’s Revolution Marks 200 Days of Protest - Graham Kilmer - Dec 15th, 2020
- Supervisor Clancy Applauds Activists on 200th Day of Protests - Sup. Ryan Clancy - Dec 14th, 2020
- The “Molotov Cocktail” That Wasn’t - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 23rd, 2020
Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here