On Friday, June 5, at 2:30 p.m., the Milwaukee Common Council and the Public Safety and Health Committee will hold a special meeting to discuss the “circumstances under which a curfew is declared, the policies used to enforce it, and the operational definition of the phrase ‘civil unrest’ and the manner in which it is enforced.”
Want to be heard? The public is urged to email any comments and feedback to the City Clerk by noon tomorrow. That email: [email protected].
The meeting, of course, is in response to the ongoing protests against police brutality, police militarization, and the murder of George Floyd and countless other African Americans at the hands of the police. Specifically, the meeting will address an incident on Tuesday in which Milwaukee police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd of protesters. Police released a picture of a so-called “molotov cocktail,” and a video showing projectiles being thrown at them. An original, since-deleted version of the video marked the police’s own spent tear gas shell as a projectile.
Alderman Nic Kovac told CBS 58 on Wednesday that “he believes city leaders will urge the Fire and Police Commission to launch a formal investigation” into the incident. A joint statement from numerous alderwomen and aldermen calls for an investigation.
Friday’s meeting will be broadcast live on the City Channel – Channel 25.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee Police Department will examine “the force used by two officers as they arrested a 28-year-old Milwaukee man lying on his stomach during the tense Tuesday standoff at the downtown intersection.”
On Thursday, Mayor Tom Barrett announced that Milwaukee “will examine its use of force policies with the community and make concrete recommendations that recognize the humanity and dignity of every person in our community.”
I am announcing the creation of a commission that will include civic, community, faith and youth leaders who will help me in this important work.
— Mayor Tom Barrett (@MayorOfMKE) June 4, 2020
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern pointed out that similar initiatives already exist:
Of note, Milwaukee already has:
– A civilian oversight board for MPD & MFD
– A draft DOJ collaborative reform report & follow up community coalition
– An ACLU stop-and-frisk settlement agreement that includes (stilll to be appointed) community committee
— Ashley Luthern (@aluthern) June 4, 2020
In a separate statement, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey noted that “Alfonso Morales, the Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department, will be having his performance review with the Fire and Police Commission later this month.”