Though political prospects to fully legalize marijuana on the state level remain grim, local efforts in Milwaukee could send a message to legislators.
Milwaukee candidate for district attorney Verona Swanigan has taken money from right-wing individuals and appealed to Republican voters in her attempt to unseat incumbent John Chisholm.
A group of protesters have taken up residence outside a BP gas station in Sherman Park and are asking community members to take their business elsewhere after an employee dispersed a crowd of Black youth Tuesday night with gunshots.
Elected officials, city officials and community leaders gathered with youth at Sherman Park in a demonstration of support after a violent standoff the night before between Milwaukee youth and police, but when police detained a young teen tensions flared.
Milwaukee Police said six protesters were arrested Thursday night at a rally for Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park for using voice amplification equipment. Nate Hamilton, Dontre’s brother, Jennifer Epps-Addison, executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now, and two individuals who were targeted by police late last year for organizing protests in Milwaukee’s central city were among the arrestees. Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said the protesters did not have a permit.
Corey Kirkwood unlocks the door to Reformation Church of Holiness on a Saturday afternoon. The building, located on 21st and Chambers, is empty today but Kirkwood, who is a youth minister there, says Pastor Henry Kilpatrick allows him to use the space for meetings. “He’s a very community-based person. A lot of people know him — he used to be a city bus driver for 30 years. He helps his community out in this area very well.” Kirkwood, who graduated from Bay View High School, has been involved in community work his entire adult life working, first, as a teacher at Malcolm X Academy, then as a drill sergeant at Right Step Boot Camp Military School and, later, as a disciplinary administrator at Texas Bufkin Christian Academy.
Attorney Verona Swanigan, organizer Corey Kirkwood and Craig Stingley, father of Corey Stingley, stand together before Monday’s press conference at the District 5 Police Station. Community leaders and members, organizers, activists — accompanied by a number of local, state and county politicians — held a press conference Monday afternoon at the District 5 Police Station calling for the City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department to support protesters in exercising their fundamental right to freedom of speech. The event was planned by local organizers — Khalil Coleman and Corey Kirkwood — who police had, reportedly, been searching for, with the intent of turning themselves in. Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor, former supervisor and State Representative David Bowen, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Alderwoman Milele Coggs were also in attendance. There were no arrests made, as the police alerted Attorney Verona Swanigan, who is representing some of the protesters, that they would conduct further investigation before taking any action.
Early Monday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced, in a press conference, that his office will not bring any charges against ex-Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney in the April shooting death of Dontre Hamilton. Chisholm also released the official report — an independent investigation months in the making — on the shooting that occurred in Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park downtown. According to accounts, Hamilton, a 31-year-old black man with a history of mental illness, was sleeping on a park bench — after already having been deemed no danger by two officers who responded to a call — when Manney approached and began a patdown of Hamilton. Manney was fired in October after Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn determined that Manney’s conduct — the unprovoked patdown, in particular — violated department procedures. A scuffle ensued and, in the process, Hamilton relieved Manney of his baton, striking the officer in the neck. The extent of both Manney’s and Hamilton’s injuries stemming from the initial confrontation continue to remain in question. Multiple eyewitness accounts leave no …
LuAnn Will’s home at 2659 S. 15th St. sits in the middle of a long dead-end block in Milwaukee’s Polonia neighborhood, inconspicuous except for the bullet holes that litter the front porch and the “We Don’t Call 911” sign displayed in her front window. Will talks about her son, Joseph Lee Walker, as she shows where – porch, front hallway, bedroom – the dozen or so bullets left their mark, constant reminders of that night in early April when Walker was shot three times by Milwaukee Police. Fearing for her life after being threatened by Walker in the midst of what she describes as a psychotic episode, Will was the one who, eventually, called police non-emergency. She only wanted her son, who’s suffered from addiction, depression and mental illness for most of his life, to get the help she’s adamant he needs. But Will could never have imagined what would happen next.
Tuesday, a crowd of about 100 people gathered at Red Arrow Park downtown to remember Dontre Hamilton, the 31-year-old man who was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee police officer in April. Hamilton’s family was also in attendance. The rally, held on the five-month anniversary of Hamilton’s death, was organized as a remembrance as well as a call-to-action for city and state officials, who have failed to make a charging decision regarding the case or to release a report by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, which was completed more than a month ago, while awaiting the results of another, independent, investigation.