Milwaukeeans march in protest of Jude verdicts
More than 3,000 Milwaukeeans of all races marched Downtown Tuesday morning to protest the not guilty verdicts handed down by an all-white jury in the Frank Jude, Jr. beating case last Friday.
As helicopters whirred in the sky above and curious onlookers watched from the sidewalk, the marchers carried banners and shouted slogans protesting the verdicts and violence and racism in the Milwaukee Police Department, as mounted officers and police in squad cars and unmarked cars and on motorcycles looked on.
Protesters gathered at 10 a.m. outside the County Courthouse and walked past the Safety Building on State Street before setting off down 7th Street to Wisconsin Avenue, where they turned east and headed toward their destination, the Federal Courthouse. There was no official count available at press time, but estimates were that as many as 3,500 marchers turned out.
Community leaders and local politicians are urging federal charges against the former officers acquitted by a Milwaukee jury.
Darcell Bishop, of Milwaukee, marched with her mother. She said she put off taking an exam today in order to take part.
"I was really tired but I decided to come out with my mom because we can't let the police get away with anymore brutality against our community," she said. "I think (the police) should (pay attention) because it's a problem that's been going on for a long time; it's just been hidden under the covers and this is something to bring it to the light, all the people coming out and protesting."
Despite predictions that 100,000 people would show up, Bishop wasn't disappointed with the number of people marching.
"I think it is a really good turnout," she said.
Harriet Schachter McKinney, of Milwaukee, who was joined by her son, her daughter, her son-in-law and grandson, agreed.
"It's a great beginning," she said. "The point is that the critical mass of people have said, 'we can speak', and there is some power here."
McKinney said that Tuesday's march -- the second major event of its kind held in Milwaukee this month; the first was in support of immigrants' rights -- was just one aspect of a multi-pronged approach to the issue.
"I've been part of the ministers group that has been meeting that has several sets of demands that they are going to continue to follow up on the Commission of Police and Community Relations, are going to continue to follow up on the most important piece of this," she said. "If there's anything positive that we can get out of this is that lots of people no matter the color of their skin or their station in life, are beginning to notice that justice is not just."
McKinney said she is co-chair of the Commission, which has met with Police Chief Nan Hegerty regarding the case, since the story first broke early last year. She believes the problem goes beyond the police department.
"I think it is a problem with a number of areas. I think the justice system in general needs to be looked at. I think we need to look at the implication of racism and adultism on all of us ... I'm clear that the chief is righteous and (I believe) the majority of officers are and that they did not get into work to brutalize people. However, they have been taught all kinds of lies and myths and misinformation about other people. We all have."
As McKinney spoke, protesters around her chanted, "no justice, no peace," and "peace and love, stop the violence." Others intoned, "justice now."
One elderly white couple standing on the curb shouted hoarsely at the police cars that brought up the tail end of the queue.
"Thank you for joining us."
Bay View Hopper said: If I am white and Polish, and I hate my next door neighbor who is also white and Polish, and I assault him, is that a hate crime?
Manimal said: lol. Cozen swings and misses my point entirely. i have a dvr Cozen. i could have taped and watched it. my POINT was i don't have the time to work a 9-10 hour day and then watch 8 hours of court TV after work.
Jessica said: A different view-I agree with your last post. Also, what is with the "hate crime" term? Why are we over compensating? Since when did someones motive make the actual crime any worse? It's just dumb.
A Different View said: Well, I don't no why it surprises me but it does: no one wants to have a dialougue on the issue of black on black crime. Yet the support for Frank Jude was overwhelming! I'm am frightened that most of the real problems in this coutry are ignored. No one wants to get at the root of the problem. No one wants to dig deep to determine: what is the cause of black on black crime. Well, I am personally going to dedicate my time and energy at every opportunity to spread the word that murder is unacceptable. We can't pretend that Police corruption is acceptable and that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that if we want to see a change in the black community the ENTIRE community must band together and stigmatize the thought of EVER killing another person. Until that time, the hypocrasy will unfortunately continue!
Cozen Beguile said: Manimal- So your answer is that you don't care or own a VCR? PEACE!
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