Milwaukee, WI – Organizers with the Coalition to March on the RNC held a press conference Monday, May 22, to condemn the Fire and Police Commission’s (FPC) recent decision to suspend policy requiring Milwaukee Police officers to release body cam footage within a reasonable time frame to the public.
“Today we are gathered in response to the trampling of civil liberties, being led by the Milwaukee Police Department and the Republican National Convention, and being carried out by the Fire and Police Commission,” said Omar Flores, one of the spokespersons for the coalition. “The coalition and the people of Milwaukee firmly stand against the closed door meetings being held by the FPC and MPD. Our rights that we’ve fought for here in Milwaukee should not go out of the window because of pressure from the reactionary and racist RNC and MPD.”
Standard Operating Policy (SOP) 575 was recently put into effect, requiring the Milwaukee Police Department to release body cam footage of critical incidents within 48 hours to affected family and 15 days to the general public. The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR) recently won this policy change after years of organizing with families who have lost loved ones to police violence.
“Organizers are forced to wonder if law enforcement plans on creating critical incidents in response to our family-friendly protest, why else would they attempt to restrict the public’s view?” continued Flores. “Perhaps they are afraid of lawsuits, since MPD is so consistent when it comes to violating civil rights. The RNC is inviting 4000 law enforcement officers to invade Milwaukee, officers who have not been vetted and have no connection with the community in Milwaukee.”
Other speakers at the press conference included members of Milwaukee Alliance Against racist and Political Repression, Reproductive Justice Action Milwaukee, the Anti-War Committee, the National Lawyers Guild and Student for a Democratic Society.
The Coalition to March on the RNC is a broad-based coalition that includes community organizations and labor organizations.