From Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Alderman Robert J. Bauman, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Mark A. Borkowski, Alderman Nik Kovac, Alderman José G. Pérez, Alderman Michael J. Murphy and Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa
Today we are calling for a formal investigation by the Fire and Police Commission into the video of an incident that occurred on June 2 showing a police officer restraining a protester using a knee to the neck and head. This incident occurred at N. 6th and W. Vliet Streets during a large gathering of protesters and a large response by police.
The video of the incident has been shared on social media and shown by news outlets, and we find the officer’s conduct unacceptable. The knee restraint hold helped to cause the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis when a police officer forcefully pushed on his neck for nearly 10 minutes on May 25th, and it seems more than obvious that the hold should not be used by law enforcement under any circumstances.
We also ask that the officer involved in the incident be removed from crowd control duty for the remainder of the protests and unrest.
We urge any protesters who have experienced mistreatment, abuse or injury at the hands of Milwaukee Police to please contact the Fire and Police Commission and look into filing a complaint. Inquiries can be made by going to the FPC website at city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/complai
Tomorrow (Friday, June 5) there will be a special meeting of the Public Safety and Health Committee at 2:30 p.m. about the city’s response to the unrest. This is a virtual meeting, and those wishing to view the proceedings are able to do so via the City Channel – Channel 25 on Spectrum Cable – or on the Internet at http://city.milwaukee.gov/city
The file to be taken up is Council file #200214 – Communication from the Office of the Mayor, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the Fire and Police Commission relating to 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. Sponsors: Ald. Rainey, Ald. Lewis, Ald. Coggs, Ald. Stamper, Ald. Hamilton and Ald. Dodd.
We are all in this together, and as elected leaders we remain committed to pushing for reforms that will keep our city safe for everyone and our departments accountable to city residents.