The contentious case regarding the 2012 death of West Allis teen Corey Stingley became a topic of national conversation Friday, when VICE News premiered “Racial Injustice in Milwaukee,” part of the site’s ongoing Crime and Punishment series.
On the afternoon of December 14, 2012, Stingley, a black 16-year-old, attempted to steal alcohol from VJ’s Food Mart in West Allis. As he attempted to flee the scene, three white adult male customers subdued Stingley and held him down while waiting for authorities. Before police arrived, Stingley’s heart stopped and he sustained significant brain damage. He died in the hospital less than two weeks later. No charges have been filed against the three men.
The 26-minute documentary was produced by Menomonee Falls native and UW-Milwaukee alumnus Spencer Chumbley, with fellow Milwaukeeans Erik Ljung, Matthew Mixon, and Daniel Peters also credited. The piece examines the events of that December day, and follows Corey’s father, Craig Stingley, in his painful and (to this point) fruitless search for justice. It also shows security footage and includes portions of police interviews.
Due to differing witness accounts and the racial dynamic in a region UWM professor Joe Austin (who is featured in the documentary) calls “a racist’s dream in a lot of ways,” it’s a complicated case. Still, VICE News makes one thing abundantly clear in the heartbreaking documentary; Corey Stingley should not be dead.