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Green Bay, WI: Justice needed for Jonathon Tubby, Native American man murdered by police

By Dan Pratt |
October 28, 2019
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Green Bay, WI - On October 26, members of the Green Bay community and people of the Oneida Nation gathered together with the family of Jonathon Tubby, a 26-year-old Oneida man who was murdered by the Green Bay Police department on October 19, 2018. Among the speakers at the memorial were Jonathon Tubby’s family and friends, the chairman of the Oneida Nation, and several activists from around Wisconsin.

The memorial included traditional Oneida Nation dances meant to celebrate the life of the departed, prayers, and a candlelight vigil. Speakers mourned the loss of their loved one, condemned the violent actions of the Green Bay Police Department (GBPD), demanded justice for Jonathon, and called for police accountability.

The victim’s family had this to say: “Our fight is not over! From the beginning we, Jonathon Tubby’s family, have asked for peace and to move forward with a good mind, following our Great Law of Peace. That request has been respected, and we are forever thankful. Culturally we mourn for one year. We do this to take care of ourselves and our families. We must live these first four seasons learning how to live without Jonathon. This year is over, we have fulfilled our duties and responsibilities. Our grief by no means is final as we are still adjusting to not having Jonathon and the loss of Jonathon still weighs heavy on our hearts. We have now chosen to move our focus and take a path of demanding answers, demanding accountability, and seeking change, so that no other family in our communities have to suffer a same or similar loss of their loved one. These answers that we seek must come from all those involved including but not limited to the Green Bay Police Department, Brown County Police Department, SWAT, Brown County Jail, and all others involved with ending Jonathon’s life. There are so many possibilities of how the night of October 19, 2018 could have ended, but someone decided firing multiple times including one to the head on an unarmed man in handcuffs, face down, restrained by a police canine and in custody in the sally port at the Brown County Jail was the correct answer. But it was not, and we demand answers from everyone, and every agency involved.”

Jonathon Tubby was taken from his family in an unjustified shooting by Officer Erik O’Brien of the Green Bay Police Department on October 19, 2018. The murder took place in the police sally port, where Jonathon was lying face down with his hands cuffed behind his back. Eight bullets were fired by Officer O’Brien; five of them struck the unarmed prisoner lying on the ground. The actions of the people responsible, namely Erik O’Brien, have been ruled by District Attorney David Lasee to be legal and justified. To the victim’s family and people of Green Bay however, the circumstances of Tubby’s death are clearly criminal.

Tubby’s murder at the hands of the police is part of many others like it in a wave of police crime that is sweeping the country. Communities everywhere are calling for community control of the police, and demanding that killer cops be sent to jail. Now is the time to end the reign of terror by police thugs and fight back against racist and political repression.