MILWAUKEE — After the release of the third annual report and analysis of 2020 Traffic Stops, Field Interviews, No-Action Encounters, and Frisks issued by the Crime and Justice Institute, highlighting worsening racial disparities in stops and frisks by the Milwaukee Police Department, the ACLU of Wisconsin urged the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission to prioritize the 2018 settlement agreement and ensure that the next MPD police chief prioritizes unbiased policing and compliance with the constitution.
“The Milwaukee FPC must prioritize the settlement and select MPD leadership that can demonstrate an actual commitment to unbiased policing, accountability, and transparency,” said Emma Shakeshaft, staff attorney researcher with the ACLU of Wisconsin. “The City of Milwaukee must remain in compliance for five years, and they haven’t even achieved compliance for one. Unless they want this settlement to go on indefinitely, some major change has to happen.”
According to data from the newest report released last Wednesday, the Milwaukee Police Department continues to stop and frisk Black and Latinx people at significantly higher rates than white people. Data shows that the Milwaukee Police Department stops Black Milwaukee residents an estimated 9.5 times more often than white residents and Latinx residents an estimated 2.9 times more often.
“As the FPC selects a new police chief, they must search thoroughly for candidates who have proven track records of promoting constitutional and equitable policing. Whether the next police chief is hired internally or externally, the FPC must ensure that whoever they choose will commit to complying with the settlement and create a plan to do so, which includes holding officers and supervisors accountable if they don’t act in accordance with the settlement,” said Olga Akselrod, senior staff attorney of nationwide ACLU’s Racial Justice Program.
The ACLU of Wisconsin has created a form in which Milwaukee residents can message the FPC and tell them they want both the FPC and the new MPD police chief to prioritize this settlement and implement and enforce unbiased policing. To send a message, go to https://action.aclu.org/send-message/wi-mpd-chief.