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Vigil held for Jayland Walker and Milwaukee victims of police crimes

By staff |
July 10, 2022
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Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression protests police crime
Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression protests police crimes. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Milwaukee, WI - After a series of storms this week, the skies cleared up and the sun shone down on a lively Milwaukee crowd of 30 people gathering for a vigil on July 9 at Lucille Berrien Park hosted by the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR). The vigil honored Jayland Walker and various victims of police crimes in Milwaukee, especially Ernest Lacy, who was murdered by Milwaukee police 41 years ago to the date.

Various families of victims of police in Milwaukee joined the Milwaukee Alliance to speak about their own cases and to explain the importance of legal and social change to prevent future cases of police crimes.

Maria Hamiton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was murdered by police in 2014, said, “we’re losing too many lives because of a system that is doing exactly what it was meant to be doing,” adding, “we need laws and policy to change.”

Linda and Jay Anderson Sr., parents of Jay Anderson, who was killed in 2016, explained that a lot has been accomplished these past two years. Officers and authorities from Wauwatosa left their positions after the immense pressure of the movement, but, as Jay Anderson Sr. expressed, “now we need to get this legislation and change these laws.” Despite the unsuccessful John Doe Case this year, the Andersons continue to fight and seek the changes required to hold the police and authorities accountable.

Cecil Lacy, brother of Ernest, and Myrtle Lacy, mother of Ernest, spoke next. They both documented the tragic events of that night in the summer of 1981, and they described how the police and authorities quickly sought to cover everything up, even harassing the Lacy family. Cecil Lacy spoke about how justice could not be brought about by authorities but only because “of the fight that’s in people like [the audience] who refuse to give up!” Other people who were commemorated at the vigil but whose families could not attend were Larry Jenkins, Antonio Gonzalez and Alvin Cole.

After the families spoke, Alan Chavoya, outreach chair of the Milwaukee Alliance, echoed the families’ demands for legal change in Milwaukee. Chavoya brought up the importance of the 24/48 campaign, which the families involved at the vigil have expressed their support for. Chavoya proceeded to read off the demands that the National Alliance put out this week, focusing on the last one, community control of the police.

As Chavoya stated, “When we say community control, we’re talking about community members having a direct and democratic say into who polices them and how they are policed. We need this because through community control, we, the people of Milwaukee, can hold the police accountable without depending on DAs or the FPC who drag their feet and waste our time.”

Omar Flores, who spoke on behalf of FRSO and is co-chair of the Milwaukee Alliance, provided a wider scope for the need for community control and bringing up the need for socialism. Flores stated, “We don’t have to have racist cop gangs. In the South, during Reconstruction, the community controlled the cops and the KKK almost went extinct.” It is only through organization that we can get these kinds of victories, and, as Flores exclaimed, “socialism is the only solution.”

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