Tense Confrontation In Milwaukee Police Brutality Protest

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Click on image to watch confrontation between Milwaukee police and activists.

Click on image to watch confrontation between Milwaukee police and activists.

Milwaukee police were inching closer and closer to activists who linked arms in the middle of a street and were refusing to budge. The activists were calling for an end to police brutality. The police were trying to remain calm, but one officer responded by exhibiting the same type of behavior activists are complaining about — pushing the peaceful protesters and refusing to give his badge number when asked.

Sunday’s weekly march against police brutality in Milwaukee organized by Occupy the Hood Milwaukee is calling attention to Milwaukee police actions that led to the deaths of two people. Protesters say the deaths are examples of a pattern of Milwaukee police misconduct and abuse of power.

Nearly 20 MPD officers confronted activists at the first intersection where they stopped. The officers marched toward the activists with two jail transport vehicles behind them.

A few police officers had black electrical tape covering their badge numbers. Typically, this is done to honor a fallen officer. However, it is against MPD Rules and Regulations for an officer to not identify themselves when asked by a member of the public.

According to the Milwaukee Police Department Rules and Regulations, Rule 4 section 255.00:

“Members of the Department shall give their name, proper rank, and badge number if applicable, in a respectful manner to any person who may request it. This rule does not apply to members of the Department when those members are assigned to duty requiring that their identity or another member’s identity be kept confidential.”

Most MPD officers’ badge numbers are visible, meaning that the officers who covered their numbers were not in a position to keep their identities confidential. One officer with his badge number covered is seen pushing back activists and did not identify himself when asked repeatedly, as seen in the video below.

Access to a police officer’s name and badge number is important information for the public to hold officers accountable for their actions. Without this information, it is difficult to file a complaint for misconduct

Activists held their position for several minutes before continuing the march; no arrests were made. People continued to join the the march as it progressed, ending with more than 100 people.

As we previously reported marches have been held weekly for more than two months against police misconduct that led to the deaths of Derek Williams and James Perry in custody, as well as the broader context of misconduct and abuse of power by MPD.

Maeleen Jordan, Derek Williams’ great aunt, explains below why she participates in the weekly marches and that her family has still not been contacted by Chief Edward Flynn regarding Williams’ death.

The next march planned is Friday afternoon; it will conclude at the Milwaukee City Hall.

Tracey Pollock

Tracey Pollock, a native of River Falls, Wis., studied journalism at UW-River Falls and finished her education at UW-Milwaukee with a focus in sociology. She is interested in covering social justice issues and shedding light on issues in a way that corporate media will not undertake. Pollock lives in Milwaukee, where generations of her family have resided. She enjoys the local music scene, bicycling and camping.

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