We proactively led a Know Your Rights: Interacting with Law Enforcement program for Black and historically excluded community members in Wisconsin. 

We fully recognize how being stopped by police is a stressful and sometimes life-altering experience that can go bad quickly. The burden of de-escalation and ensuring that constitutional rights are respected does not fall on private citizens but on police officers. However, we cannot assume officers will behave in a way that protects our safety or respect our rights even after we assert them.

The reality is that the Milwaukee Police Department engages in racially inequitable policing. Five years into our Collins settlement, Black Milwaukeeans are still disproportionately stopped and frisked.

In addition, with the recent passage of Act 12, Milwaukee Public Schools are now required to reinstate school resource officers (SROs), which have been directly linked to increasing the school-to-prison pipeline, especially with Black students.

It was painstakingly clear that if we are going to embark on this journey it is necessary to implement wellness practices into the training curriculum. We are collaborating with Black Space, a community organization that provides free group therapeutic experiences for Black and Brown communities.

The ACLU of Wisconsin is honored to continue to push for Systemic Equality for historically excluded communities. With community partners, we aim to empower Black youth and community members to learn about their rights and reduce the risk to themselves when interacting with law enforcement.

Dr. Melinda Brennan, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, stated: “If we are to protect our rights, we must actively empower youth. It remains true that Black people are targeted by law enforcement with disproportionate negative outcomes, then we must step up and offer support towards the empowerment of Black and youth of color. To say Black Lives Matter requires the work to educate and empower, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way.”


Special thank you to our community partners!

Black Space logo
BLOC logo