Police terror in Milwaukee

Protest at Red Arrow park in Milwaukee Aug. 22 demands justice for victims of police terror.Photo: Bryan G. Pfeifer

Protest at Red Arrow park in Milwaukee
Aug. 22 demands justice for victims of police terror.
Photo: Bryan G. Pfeifer

Dontre Hamilton was sleeping in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee on April 30. Moments later he lay on the ground dead, shot at least 14 times by a Milwaukee cop.

Family spokesperson Nathaniel Hamilton, Dontre’s brother, says that before the cop that killed Dontre arrived on the scene, two police officers had previously been called to “check” on him. They surveyed the park and moved on.

The officer that killed Hamilton claims he received a voice mail that stated a man was sleeping in the park and that he hadn’t received any information from the other two cops. According to eyewitnesses, this cop attempted to awaken Hamilton with his baton. Hamilton grabbed the baton and defended himself and, during the scuffle, the cop drew his gun and shot Hamilton 14 times.

The family is demanding that the killer cop be charged with homicide. Protests continue to demand justice for Hamilton and the numerous victims of police killings and vigilantes in Wisconsin and nationwide.

More than four months after the incident, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn still refuses to release the name of the cop that killed Hamilton. No charges have been filed.

The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office, led by John Chisholm, is still sitting on a report they received Aug. 8 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice—Division of Criminal Investigation. A new state law requires reports of investigations into deaths in police custody to be publicly released if criminal charges are not filed against the officers involved.

Fighting police terror

Similar to Ferguson, Mo., where a cop murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown, Milwaukee is a city where Black and Brown communities are confronting brutal austerity pushed by the banks and corporations and their servants, the racist police and politicians.

Just as in Ferguson, mass protests have erupted in Milwaukee to demand an end to police terror and the semi-apartheid conditions of oppressed communities there. Press conferences, packing of community meetings and more have also taken place. These follow similar protest activities after the police killing of Derek Williams and the vigilante killings of Corey Stingley in West Allis, Wis., and Bo Morrison in West Bend, Wis.

Angela Walker, a community organizer who is running as an independent socialist against Sheriff David Clarke in the Nov. 4 election, said: “We know that mass incarceration is the ‘New Jim Crow’ and Sheriff Clarke’s tactics have cemented Milwaukee’s place in that system. Wisconsin is the worst place in the country to raise a Black child and leads the nation in incarcerating Brown and Black people. I believe that it’s time to rethink criminal justice. It’s time we look at the impact poverty and harsh punitive measures have on crime rates, and advocate for policy changes that will increase opportunity for everyone in our community.”

There is growing resistance and solidarity, especially between Black and Brown youth/students in Milwaukee, with support from poor and working-class whites.

The next major protest will be on Sept. 26 at Milwaukee Area Technical College outside the S-Building across from the Municipal Court.

The organizers of the “End Police Brutality, Mass Deportations, and Mass Incarcerations” protest state: “Join us as we unite as one commUNITY against the Police state here in Milwaukee, and in the United States of America. We all deserve the right to live a life without fear of the police or anyone else harming, separating or killing our families.” (tinyurl.com/p9mj5vb)

Call Chisholm’s office to demand the release of the name of the killer cop of Dontre Hamilton and that the cop be charged: 414-278-4646 and/or email: [email protected] For ongoing updates and information about protests against police terror and occupation in Wisconsin: www.wibailoutpeople.org.