February 27, 2023
From Fight Back News
Demanding justice for Keishon Thomas.

Demanding justice for Keishon Thomas.
(Fight Back! News/staff)

Fight Back News Service is circulating the statement from the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR).

On February 24, 2023, two Milwaukee police officers were criminally charged for their involvement in the in-custody death of Keishon Thomas. Thomas died on February 23, 2022 from acute mixed drug intoxication due to staff neglect and abuse while being held in Police District 5.

The officers involved were Donald Krueger and Marco Lopez. Krueger is charged with one felony count of abuse of a resident in a penal facility. Lopez is charged with one felony count of misconduct in public office. While we recognize these charges as progress, there were a total of thirteen other officers on duty who were responsible also for Thomas at the time of his death. 

These charges come just over a year after Thomas’ death. Throughout this process, MPD stalled internal investigations, failed to be transparent in their findings, and harassed Thomas’ family. The District Attorney’s office also failed to be transparent in their review and keep Thomas’ family in the loop with the investigation. All of these factors further contributed to community distrust in the police and a delay in justice for the affected family. 

The Milwaukee Alliance has continued to work on our campaign for 24/48. In this campaign, we demand that in cases of officer involved deaths, the involved officers’ names must be released within 24 hours. Moreover, the unredacted footage of these cases must be publicly released within 48 hours. A policy like this would make the issue of in-custody deaths more transparent for the public, hold officers involved accountable, and give closure to the families of victims. Keishon Thomas’ family had to wait multiple months before they were able to see any footage. When they were able to see the footage, it was heavily edited and left them with more questions.  

Again, we recognize that charging these two officers is a step towards justice for Thomas’ family, but we are also demanding that they get indicted. Furthermore, we are demanding for policy changes that ensure transparency and accountability from MPD. The fight for transparency and accountability gets results the fastest with fighting families and community organizations. The results of this investigation would not have been possible without Thomas’ family, who helped politicize the issue.  There is a long way to go in the fight towards justice for victims, but the future is bright. 

Source: Fightbacknews.org