Milwaukee, WI – On August 25, 30 protesters gathered for a press conference, which was followed by a picket, to demand an end to in-custody deaths inside the Milwaukee County Jail. Beginning with the death of Brieon Green on June 26, 2022, six people have died in the custody of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
“Our demand continues to be full transparency and accountability,” said Laquita Dunlap, mother of Brieon Green. “We stand by these demands for all the families. We are grieving and we don’t want this for any other people.”
Dunlap’s words were complemented by a statement provided by Kerrie Hirte, mother of Cilivea Thyrion, who died in the jail on December 16, 2022.
“This is not just about my child. This is about everyone who goes through those doors and is placed in care. A greater budget is not the solution. More correctional officers is not the solution!”
Earlier this week, MCSO produced a report about its staffing levels and suicide prevention policies after the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors approved an audit.
“The report amounts to a list of excuses from the Sheriff’s Office in order to turn these deaths into mere talking points to justify seeking a 34% budgetary increase,” said Alan Chavoya, the Outreach Chair for the Milwaukee Alliance, a founding member of the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition.
According to the sheriff’s report, the conditions in the jail and the in-custody deaths are due to a lack of staffing and funding.
“Sheriff Denita Ball is failing to provide any actionable solutions for what’s happening inside the county jail. And she thinks she can get away with this because the sheriff believes the office is only accountable to themselves. They cannot perform the necessary functions to care for the people held in the jail, mismanage their already generous budget, refuse to be transparent, and cannot hold themselves accountable,” said Chavoya.
The Milwaukee Alliance and the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition are demanding elected officials look into creating an alternative to how MCSO controls the jail. These organizations are demanding the creation of a civilian oversight body with the power to hold MCSO accountable, manage their budget, and review the County Jail’s policies and procedures.
On September 11, the County Supervisors will meet to discuss the report produced by MCSO. The Milwaukee Alliance and the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition will be present to offer public testimony against the report and against the sheriff’s budgetary demands.