Contact: Rep. David Bowen, (608) 266-7671

MILWAUKEE – In commemoration of the Juneteenth day of action, State Representative David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“The liberation that we celebrate on Juneteenth Day still has not been fully realized, as an epidemic of police violence toward Black people continues to plague our nation,” Bowen said.

Earlier this year, Bowen joined members of the National Black Caucus of the YEO Network in launching a nationwide joint letter, signed by more than a hundred state and local elected officials, calling on President Donald J. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take immediate action to end police and state-supported violence against Black people and to hold bad actors accountable for their actions.

“In Milwaukee, a high profile case continues making headlines in which Sterling Brown, a Black professional athlete, was tased by police when officers escalated a conversation about a parking violation,” said Bowen. “Officers received minimal corrective action for their abuse of power, and that lack of accountability is protected by state law which must change.”

Today, Rep. Bowen and members of the National Black Caucus of YEO call for:

  • Federal, state, and local prosecutors to prosecute police misconduct. We expect prosecutors to achieve justice and use their power to monitor police abuse.
  • Local prosecutors to create a local civil rights unit dedicated to investigating and prosecuting police misconduct fairly, transparently, and independently.
  • State attorneys general to provide recommendations and guidelines for local prosecutors and investigators of misconduct to ensure police accountability.
  • DOJ as well as state and local prosecutors to launch systemic investigations when agencies are suspected of engaging in “pattern of practice” violations and discrimination.
  • Local mayors and city councils to create civilian oversight structures, select police chiefs who prioritize building trust with communities, conduct de-escalation and life preserving trainings, develop protocols to ensure these trainings are observed, and support alternative mental health interventions.
  • Every police department to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and reject misguided practices such as ‘broken windows’ and ‘stop & frisk.’
  • Explore regulations on police use of firearms.
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