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Appleton, WI: Family and supporters rally on the 5th anniversary of the police murder of Jimmie Sanders

By staff |
May 25, 2022
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Appleton, WI protest against police crimes.
Appleton, WI protest against police crimes. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Appleton, WI – On Saturday, May 21, the family of Jimmie Sanders – a man murdered by Appleton police in May 2017 - alongside Fox Valley Food Not Bombs, Appleton SDS, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and United Action Oshkosh organized a rally and march to bring attention to the case, and to crowdfund for the Jimmie Sanders legal team.

Sanders, an African American man, was fatally shot by Lieutenant Jay Steinke of the Appleton Police Department at Jack's Apple Pub on May 21, 2017. Steinke was responding to the bar for a report of a shot fired inside. Henry Nellum, a 36-year-old from Milwaukee, was convicted of firing that shot during a fight with another man. When Steinke arrived, he shot Nellum, hitting him in the arm, but also shot and killed Sanders, an innocent bystander who wasn't involved in the incident.

Steinke, who retired in 2019, wasn't charged for the murder of Sanders. In fact, a 13-day investigation by Green Bay police led then-Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider to determine that Steinke "acted appropriately given the threat." Nellum was later convicted for his “role in the shooting death of Jimmie Sanders” and is currently serving 16.5 years in prison despite not being the one responsible for his murder.

Speakers at the rally decried police repression and emphasized the necessity to implement civilian police accountability councils across the country. Terrence Freeman, the chair of Appleton SDS and a member of FRSO, stated, “The police do not exist to protect and serve us. Their purpose is to repress, brutalize and exploit the Black and brown working class. Their purpose is to maintain the white supremacist status quo.”

Freeman continued, “Look at our communities! They are the most heavily policed areas in this country. Look at the statistics – Black people are disproportionately killed by the police every year. And just analyze our history; it is a fact that the police in America evolved from slave patrols. Slave patrols.”

To conclude his speech, Freeman advocated for CPACs (Civilian Police Accountability Councils): “CPACs will ensure that law enforcement is ruled by us - the people - not by some racist police board. We must control the police and ensure that they can no longer control and brutalize us. We want genuine change now!”

After Freeman’s speech, the protesters marched to the Appleton police station chanting for justice for Sanders.

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