Jay Anderson, Jr., John Doe Case to Resume May 4; Anderson Shot & Killed by then-Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah

Phone from jsonline.com

CBS 58 reported on this case on March 25, including testimony from Anderson’s girlfriend and a former Washington. DC, police detective. The detective stated that “There is no evidence that at the time he was shot that Mr. Anderson was lunging towards the gun” and that Mensah should be charged. You can watch their coverage here.

The concluding hearing is scheduled for May 4, starting at 9 AM, in room 635 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Judge Glenn Yamahiro is presiding. Attorney Kim Motely, who presented during our April 1 event, will be giving evidence on why criminal charges should be brought against Joseph Mensah for his fatal shooting of Jay Anderson. You can see the hearing in person or online.

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What’s Wrong With the Wauwatosa Police Department?

The National Lawyers Guild – Milwaukee Chapter and the Milwaukee Turners hosted a presentation and panel with Attorney Kimberley Motley, Attorney Ramon Valdez and Sedan Smith.

Recorded April 1, 2021

All over the country Americans are wrestling with the suffering and trauma caused by racist – and all too frequently fatal – interactions between institutions like law enforcement and civilians. Some people who seem beholden to our status quo of white supremacy, and the infallibility of law enforcement, condemn the patriotism, morality and legality of even questioning the actions of the government or police during the aftermath of these events. Point in case, the Milwaukee National Lawyer’s Guild Facebook Group was taken down by Facebook last night because numerous people complained about the event – implying that this is somehow hate speech. [Note: Facebook reversed its decision on Thursday night, April 1st, w/o explanation or apology.]

You can watch the full presentation on YouTube here.

CBS 58 News covered the presentation; you can see their story here.

The Milwaukee Courier also featured the presentation in their weekly newspaper; you can see their coverage here.

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36 Milwaukee groups ask if local officers participated in assault on nation’s Capitol

Dear Members of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission;

City of Milwaukee Public Safety and Health Committee;

Sheriff Earnell Lucas;

City of Milwaukee Interim Police Chief Jeffrey Norman;

Police Chiefs of Milwaukee County;

Did our local officers participate in the assault on the Capitol?

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the involvement of law enforcement agents in the events on Washington, D.C. on January 6th. Every day, media reports(1)  add to the tally of police officers who are being investigated for their potential participation in the violent assault on Capitol Hill. Despite the heroic actions of a few individual law enforcement agents protecting the Capitol building, the inadequacy of the police response has been a keenly felt takeaway of the event. The inability to prevent terror, the destruction of property, and loss of human life has inspired fear. For many members of the public, the lack of effective response also suggests the potential of collusion between those agents of the law and the invaders. 

To allay public concerns, we call upon local Fire and Police Commissions, the Milwaukee Common Council Committee on Public Safety and Health, and the various police agencies and Sheriff’s administration to investigate the extent of participation of local law enforcement agents in Milwaukee County. Police agencies across the country(2) have begun such investigations, and it is time for a similar care to be taken here in Milwaukee. As individuals from Wisconsin(3) have been identified as participants in the assault, the public must be assured that officers of the law did not travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in these illegal activities. Fleeting social media posts by law enforcement in Milwaukee since January 6th have demonstrated approval and support for the law breakers in Washington, D.C. As our Milwaukee County community struggles to heal from the violence in Washington, D.C., and to minimize the potential of future attacks locally and nationally, we must collectively be assured that our sworn officers of the law did not participate in these anti-democratic activities. 

We urge you to investigate whether local law enforcement participated in the unlawful insurrection that took place at our nation’s Capital and report back to the public with your findings. 

Sincerely,

The National Lawyers Guild of Milwaukee

African American Roundtable

American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin 

Ayuda Mutua of Milwaukee

Black and Pink

Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin

BLOC – Black Leaders Organizing Communities

Brown Berets – Milwaukee

The Community 

Community Task force – Milwaukee

ExPO – Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing

Forward Latino

Jewish Voices For Peace – Milwaukee

League of Progressive Seniors

Metcalfe Park Community Bridges

Milwaukee Action Intersection

Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission

Milwaukee Freedom Fund

Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) 

Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coaltion

Milwaukee Turners

NAACP – Milwaukee

National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter 

Overpass Light Brigade

Pastors United

Peace Action of Wisconsin

People’s Revolution – Milwaukee

Progressive Baptist Church

Rid Racism – Milwaukee

Riverwest Outdoor Educational Adventures, Inc.

Sikh Temple of Milwaukee

Souls to the Polls

SURJ MKE

Veterans for Peace, Chapter 102

Wisconsin Justice Initiative

Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance

1.     “US Capitol riot: police have long history of aiding neo-Nazis and extremists,” Sam Levin, The Guardian, January 16, 2021

2.     “Police departments across the U.S. open probes into whether their own members took part in the Capitol riot,” Kim Bellware, The Washington Post, January 9, 2021

3.     “West Allis man charged with entering U.S. Capitol during riot says he saw police shoot woman,” Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 15, 2021

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TRUMP’S MAGA INFLUENCE ON POLICE THREATENS MULTIRACIAL DEMOCRACY IN SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN

by Dr Jody Melamed, associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Marquette University and member of the Milwaukee Chapter of the NLG.

We invite you to read this excellent article, recently published at MilwaukeeIndependent.com.

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The NLG of Milwaukee Condemns Deceitful and False Allegations of Voter Fraud in Wisconsin

January 11, 2021— The National Lawyers Guild of Milwaukee condemns the false allegations of State Representatives alleging intentional voter misconduct and fraud during the recent presidential election. Recently, Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) made the following statement while objecting to Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes: “Democrat leaders in Milwaukee illegally and unconstitutionally created more than 200 illegal polling places, thousands of votes were changed. We object.” (1) Gohmert, along with Wisconsin Representatives Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, and 57 of their colleagues betrayed their oaths of office by intentionally sowing mistrust in the American electoral system to further their own political agendas. They knowingly implied that there was fraud and “voting irregularities” in our state and others in an effort to deceive the public and overturn our votes so that they could try to supplant their own candidates instead of those elected. We feel this deception, especially as amplified by President Donald Trump not only erodes faith in our democracy but is in part responsible for the violence and destruction that took place in the nation’s Capitol recently that resulted in five deaths including that of a uniformed police officer.


“This is a disgusting and irresponsible lie. As many NLG members and others who participated with Republican election workers in processing and protecting the ballots in Milwaukee can attest: votes were NOT changed,” stated Atty. Arthur Heitzer. He teamed with a GOP co-worker who agreed on all ballots they processed, and they were pictured together in the New York Times while jointly processing some of the 169,000 early votes that were released in Milwaukee after midnight of Election Day. Those votes could not be processed prior to November 3rd because of a mandate from the Wisconsin legislature.

1. https://www.tmj4.com/news/election-2020/texas-republicans-objection-to-wisconsins-electoral-votes-for-biden-fall-flat

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The National Lawyers Guild of Milwaukee Condemns Anti-Semitic and Racist Actions of Rioters at the US Capitol– No Comparison with Black Lives Matter or Act 10 Demonstrators

January 11, 2021— The National Lawyers Guild of Milwaukee condemns the violent actions and display of racist and anti-Semitic signs, flags, images and props such as nooses, confederate flags, Nazi symbols and “Camp Auschwitz Staff” shirts at the recent US Capitol demonstrations. We also unequivocally refute any comparison between the Black Lives Matter and Act 10 demonstrations of the past several years with the riot that erupted at the United States Capitol. Social media posts by local law enforcement in
Milwaukee supporting the violent actions at the U.S. Capitol call into question the ability of said officers to uphold the law, and we call for officers to be held accountable for their support of the criminal activity at the U.S. Capitol.

“The people who attacked the United States Capitol did so in an effort to overthrow or capture members or the United States government and destroy the results of our nation’s recent presidential election. In contrast, the other demonstrations were demanding an end to institutionalized racism and state violence, or to support collective bargaining and workers’ rights.” stated Emilio De Torre, of the
Milwaukee NLG Steering Committee.

The stark comparison of security at this riot compared to the disproportionate police threats and violence at recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations indicates that law enforcement is significantly influenced by political and racial bias. This lack of reasonable preparedness and an apparent common agenda with the violent crowd sadly resulted in the bludgeoning death of a uniformed DC Capitol police officer at the
hands of pro-Trump rioters who were trying to undermine the presidential election results.

These actions are further seen in video of attacks where white demonstrators can be seen and heard chanting “stupid n——–,“ (1) at uniformed Black police officers and assaulting them. The recent actions at the United States Capitol come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the news for the past few years. In an election season that had major senatorial ad campaigns distorting the features of opponents to make them appear as stereotypes that are “more Jewish” (2) or “more Black” (3), it is no wonder that demonstrators felt emboldened to display anti-Semitic, anti-Black and racist imagery in an attempt to intimidate and threaten Americans while they attempted to violently destroy the mandate of millions of U.S. voters.————
(1) https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2745025309159411&id=100009559061716
(2) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/27/us/politics/jon-ossoff-david-perdue-ad.html
(3) https://news.yahoo.com/kelly-loeffler-runs-facebook-ad-193628867.html

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Letter to Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee

December 4, 2020

Dear Committee Members,

On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, we write to encourage you to collectively prioritize vaccination within Wisconsin’s prison communities. These communities are very vulnerable, and should be a public health priority. 

Outbreaks in prisons drain healthcare resources, mostly in Wisconsin’s already under-resourced rural health infrastructure. This will increase the delay of access for rural community members who must wait as local hospitals put healthcare on hold to focus solely on COVID19. In this case, protecting the rights of prisoners also aligns with our state’s public health.

Thank you for your consideration,

Art Heitzer, Steering Committee

Emilio de Torre, Steering Committee

Colleen Cullen, Steering Committee

Sameena Mulla, Steering Committee

Ramon Valdez, Steering Committee

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Help Get Out The Vote in Georgia!

Voter registration in Georgia closes on December 7th and the polls close on January 5th. How can you help ensure voter turnout?

  1. Help others get familiar with the candidates and where they stand on the issues – while there are many nonpartisan sources of information, we recommend that you share this Nonpartisan Voter Information Guide put out by the Campus Election Engagement Project.
  1. Donate to one or more of these People-of-Color-led groups that are doing the work: 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

5680 Oakbrook Parkway, Ste. 148

Norcrosse, GA 30093

404-585-8446

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR)

7 Dunwoody Park, Ste. 110

Atlanta, GA 30338

770-457-5232

The New Georgia Project 

830 Glenwood Ave., SE

Suite 510-221

Atlanta, GA 30316

404-996-6621


Transformative Justice Coalition

1816 12th Street, N.W. Suite 410

Washington, DC 20009

The Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

1666 K Street, NW, 4th Floor – Suite #440

Washington, DC 20006,

  1. Search the internet for “phone banking in Georgia” opportunities. There are many nonpartisan groups that can help you with this.
  1. Partner with the Transformative Justice Coalition and The Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. Their goal is to send postcards to 1 million Georgia voters. Find out more and sign the nonpartisan agreement here.

Building Unity – This is a shared project that is pulling groups together to help Wisconsin build a well organized, united movement of movements for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy.  Order postcards from Building Unity here.

A very special thanks to the co-sponsors: ALEGO, Transformative Justice Coalition, NAACP – Dane Co. Branch, FUS – Madison, WI Network for Peace & Justice, National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter. End the Wars Coalition, SOULS,  Interfaith Peace Working Group, Pierce Co. Grass Roots Organizing, United As One, All Of Us Or None-WI, WI UU State

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The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission is Moving Ahead with Three Finalists for MPD Chief

You can see on our website a joint statement regarding criteria that the Milwaukee NLG joined in signing, at https://nlgmilw.wordpress.com/2020/11/13/our-criteria-for-mpds-next-police-chief/

The finalists are: Malik Aziz (major in Dallas Police Dept), Chris Davis (deputy chief with Portland Police), &  Hoyt Mahaley (FBI Agent). 

Image from Urban Milwaukee, photos provided by the Dallas Police Department, Portland Police Bureau and FBI

We encourage you to give input: Questions for the finalists are being collected and collated now through this web portal: https://city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/Outreach/Public-Comment-Form- 


The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission allowed for the public to hear from the three finalists in response to questions on November 7 and  21, 2020. You can  watch the first hearing here, and the second hearing here.

The Fire and Police Commission has said its goal is to name a new chief by December 3. Thanks to Molly Collins of the ACLU-WI for some of this info!

We invite you to better understand the FPC by viewing this very informative talk which we organized with the ACLU of WI: “Accountable to Whom and for What? A Historical View of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission” by public historian Will Tchakirides,” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxd_e25kT3c

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OUR CRITERIA FOR MPD’S NEXT POLICE CHIEF

The “People’s Flag” of the City of Milwaukee

The City of Milwaukee is at an inflection point. Milwaukee is in the process of hiring a new police chief to lead a police department in desperate need of change for decades. If we care about our city, then we have to care about the future of the Milwaukee Police Department. The organizations listed below have come up with the following criteria to guide the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners as they select a qualified police chief.

A new chief must commit to:

Reforms to MPD’s Traffic and Pedestrian Stop and Frisk Practices

  • Commit to adopting the reforms mandated by the ACLU’s 2018 Settlement Agreement with the City of Milwaukee, as well as by the recommendations noted in a U.S.
  • Department of Justice report related to MPD’s discriminatory stop and frisk policies.
  • Publicly acknowledge that MPD has not prioritized compliance with the 2018 Settlement Agreement and develop a collaborative relationship with the Independent Monitoring Team to ensure MPD is in compliance with the Agreement

Transparency and Accountability

  • Embrace meaningful civilian oversight of MPD.
  • Demonstrate experience leading institutional law enforcement reform efforts that did not result in an increased police department budget.
  • Issue strong policies that develop law enforcement training, create meaningful mechanisms of oversight, and hold officers accountable.
  • Promote transparency and the public’s right to know.
  • Lead organizational culture change efforts.

21st Century Policing Tactics

  • Demilitarize MPD—including a commitment not to use weapons such as tear gas, which has been banned in warfare.
  • Protect the right of free speech and protest.
  • Follow 21st century best practices, including de-escalation tactics and diversion programs.
  • Advocate for reduced incarceration, improved conditions of confinement, and rehabilitation.
  • Address mental health crises with mental health professionals, not law enforcement.

Addressing Biased Policing

  • Work collaboratively with diverse communities to hold officers accountable for biased policing.
  • Work with immigrant communities and not use local police resources for federal immigration enforcement.

Signed,

ACLU of Wisconsin

Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC)

Black Lives Matter to Wisconsin Unitarian Universalists

Coalition for Justice

Dontre Hamilton’s mother, Maria Hamilton

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

The League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County

MICAH (Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope)

Milwaukee Turners

NAACP Milwaukee Branch

National Lawyers Guild, Milwaukee Chapter

Pastor Walter Lanier

Progressive Baptist Church

Reverend Joseph H. Jackson, Jr.

Sr. Rose Stietz, OP

Wisconsin Justice Initiative

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