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Milwaukee Alliance facilitates meeting between families and city officials over 24/48 campaign

By Alan Chavoya |
June 8, 2022
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Members of the Milwaukee Alliance stood together with the families of victims of
Members of the Milwaukee Alliance stood together with the families of victims of police crimes at a recent meeting with the Fire and Police Commission. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Milwaukee, WI – On June 6, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression facilitated a meeting between the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) and families who have lost loved ones to police violence. Present at the meeting were the families of Samuel Rodriguez (murdered 2002), Larry Jenkins (murdered 2002), Jay Anderson Jr. (murdered 2016) and Alvin Cole (murdered 2020).

This meeting was coordinated after a meeting between the Milwaukee Alliance and the FPC last month in which the Milwaukee Alliance discussed the necessity of policy that ensures Milwaukee police publicly release the names of officers involved in police misconduct within 24 hours of the incident and all the unedited footage of the incident within 48 hours. They call it the 24/48 Campaign. The FPC is currently in the information gathering stage of their policy-creation procedure. They have expressed a desire to create a policy proposal regarding the release of footage by the fall.

Presently, there is no policy in Milwaukee that dictates when and how police publicly release footage related to police misconduct. The Milwaukee Police Department claims to follow an informal policy of releasing the footage within 45 days, but they often exceed that limit, only to release a heavily redacted video that fits their narrative, if they release the footage at all.

At the meeting the families stood firmly with the Milwaukee Alliance’s 24/48 Campaign demands. Taleavia Cole, sister of Alvin Cole and member of the Milwaukee Alliance, explained to the chair and commissioner of the FPC how important releasing the footage in a timely manner is to the families. Many families are often left wondering what happened that led to the death of their loved ones when the footage isn’t released, and, as Cole expressed, the wait is painful and prevents any healing for the families.

Debra Jenkins, mother of Larry Jenkins, vocalized the importance of also adding a punitive dimension to the policy. As happened in the cases of Jay Anderson Jr. and Alvin Cole, the same killer cop kept the cameras off. Jenkins demanded the FPC ensure the policy can hold these cops accountable when they turn their cameras off. Otherwise, police officers will continue to bypass the law and avoid any accountability.

Moreover, Linda and Jay Anderson, parents of Jay Anderson Jr., and Victor Rodriguez, father of Samuel Rodriguez, emphasized how families rarely have a fighting chance against the police in the courts because the police narrative gets out faster and dominates public perception. Publicly releasing the names and footage in a timely manner will help families improve their odds for justice in the court and will help them develop their own narrative ahead of the police.

The Milwaukee Alliance has been leading the 24/48 Campaign since the police murder of Roberto “Touch” Zielinski on May 30, 2021. This meeting between the families and the FPC is the latest and, perhaps, most powerful chapter thus far in the campaign. The FPC now has indisputable evidence that families impacted by police violence stand firmly with the Milwaukee Alliance’s demands.