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Racine, WI: Demanding justice for Ty’rese West

By Ethan Costello |
September 20, 2019
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Rally to demand “Justice for Ty’rese”
Rally to demand “Justice for Ty’rese” (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Racine, WI - In a beautiful display of the power of community, 300 people rallied September 18 at the Racine County Courthouse to demand “Justice for Ty’rese” who was murdered mid-June by Sargent Eric Giese, a Mount Pleasant police officer. District Attorney Patricia J. Hanson decided that Giese’s actions were justified and that he will not be criminally charged. Officer Giese is expected to return to work.

The community rallied to urge the district attorney to make the right decision, though the decision not to charge Giese was anticipated by those gathered there. The DA did not have the nerve to speak to the crowd herself. Ty’rese’s mother, Monique West, addressed the crowd bearing the news.

“He is not getting charged,” Monique said. “But listen... it ain’t over. Once it hits federal, it’s coming out and [Giese] is going underneath the jail cell.”

Ty’rese West, 18, was stopped by Giese for riding his bicycle at night with no headlight. 95 seconds after being stopped, Ty’rese was shot twice in the head while on his hands and knees.

The Racine Police Department (RPD) has not released body cam or dash cam video. Giese stated he did not have his body cam turned on and the police department claims that the dash cam’s memory bank was full at the time of the incident. The RPD has had three months to cover up the evidence and the community is rightly angry at the circumstances.

Officer Giese is known for his violent behavior while wearing the badge and has assaulted citizens while on patrol before. In fact, Giese is another local example of the issue of institutionalized racism.

In the U.S., cops have a license to kill, beat and maim Black and brown people and the poor without consequence. Black and brown communities suffer daily at the hands of police.

But there is courage in unity, strength in community, and power in solidarity. This was proven true yesterday, when the Racine community came together as one and made it clear that they will continue to fight for the justice Ty’rese West deserves.