Milwaukee, WI – Despite the Milwaukee snowstorm, 150 people showed up to march in solidarity with Tyre Nichols and all victims of police crimes. The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR) put the call to action for Sunday, January 29, and was quickly joined by the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Students for Democratic Society, Reproductive Justice Action – Milwaukee (RJA-M), the Milwaukee Anti-war Committee, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO).
The crowd gathered at Dontre Hamilton (Red Arrow) Park, which over the years has become an unofficial gathering point for Milwaukee to show solidarity with victims of police crimes. They then marched towards Milwaukee Police Department District 1 before looping back to the park.
Nichols, like so many victims of police violence, must be remembered for the loving person he was. Patricia Fish, speaking on behalf of FRSO said, “Tyre Nichols was a son, a brother, a father. He was a skater and a photographer. He was a human.” Brienna Green spoke similarly about her brother, Brieon Green, letting the crowd know that “Brieon was born on March 27, 2001. He was the son of Laquita Dunlap and a brother of mine. He had a passion for cars and writing songs. He enjoyed going to church, helping others, hanging out with friends and family, and he loved animals.”
After the release of the footage pertaining to Nichols’ brutal beating, the people of Milwaukee appeared eager to voice their demands for justice and an end to police violence. Alan Chavoya, outreach chair of the MAARPR, spoke up about the importance of organizing in these challenging times and urged people to join the organization. Chavoya said, “We must come together, and organize together. We can only win what we’re organized to take. The struggle against police crimes is a long struggle. We must be in it for the long haul.”
After the deadliest year in terms of police killings, January of 2023 shows that U.S. police are poised to continue that deadly trend. Keenan Anderson was killed by Los Angeles police on January 3, Nichols died three days after a brutal beating by Memphis police on January 7, and Manuel “Tortuguita” Paez Terán was killed by Georgia State Patrol on January 18.
If we are serious about combating police violence, they must be put under community control. The people must have the first and final say over who polices them and how they are policed. As Fish said, “To have a future of community control of the police, we must continue to fight!”