police

Milwaukee police shot and killed a man late Monday afternoon. The incident took place near 10th and Burnham on the near south side. Police confirmed the death around 5 p.m.

Courtesy of Carol Starr

Thousands of people gathered on Wednesday to honor the life of Michael Michalski, a Milwaukee police officer who was killed in the line of duty on July 25.

A memorial service was held at the Assembly of God Church in Oak Creek. Dozens of law enforcement agencies escorted Michalski's body from the chruch, past the Milwaukee police headquarters and then to his final resting place at Wisconsin Memorial Park. American flags lined the entrance to the Brookfield park.

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There’s a power-play going on between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and aldermen about who's on the Fire and Police Commission, a citizen body that oversees the city’s police and fire departments.

At stake, some say, is how police officers interact with the community.

Mayor Barrett nominated retired Deputy Police Chief William Gielow to the citizen oversight panel, for a five-year term. Gielow spent 41 years on the Milwaukee police force.

Michelle Maternowski

Update:

The Milwaukee police officer who was shot and killed Wednesday night has been identified as 52-year-old Michael Michalski. He was a husband, father of three, and a veteran of the department, said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales at a press conference Thursday.

The Milwaukee Common Council Tuesday settled a lawsuit related to police practices

Milwaukee aldermen have approved a nearly $3.5 million settlement, related to the former police chief’s policy of routine traffic stops in high-crime areas. Edward Flynn set up the program in hopes that the practice would significantly reduce violent crime. But, the ACLU of Wisconsin filed a federal class action lawsuit last year. The organization claimed the policy amounted to thousands of illegal “stop and frisks” of African-American and Latino residents. The vote Tuesday followed a sometimes bitter debate.

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Some Milwaukee residents and officials consider new Police Chief Alfonso Morales to be a breath of fresh air. Earlier this year, he took over for Edward Flynn, who retired. The Fire and Police Commission chose Morales to serve the final two years of Fynn's term. Morales has pledged to improve police-community relations, and some say he's making inroads. But a Milwaukee alderman thinks the public deserves a say in who heads the police department. 

He's pushing for a change that would allow citizens to elect the police chief.

Michelle Maternowski

Update:

The Milwaukee Common Council Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal that would have police cadets train at MATC and for the city to hire part-time officers.  The resolution now goes to Mayor Tom Barrett.

Original Post:

Milwaukee could be looking at a future of part-time and seasonal police officers patrolling the city. The common council is meeting Wednesday to discuss the proposal. It also includes training police officers at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

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Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown is accusing Milwaukee police officers of discriminating against him because he is black when they used a stun gun last winter during his arrest for a parking violation.

A lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday says officers could have simply issued a citation instead of "unlawfully discriminating against Mr. Brown on the basis of his race."  

Officers detained Brown at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 26 outside a Walgreens store on Milwaukee's south side.  He was apparently double parked in a disabled spot.

Maayan Silver

The Fire and Police Commission is mandating that the Milwaukee Police Department conduct an audit of the Sterling Brown incident.

Brown is the Milwaukee Bucks rookie who officers tased and arrested last January after finding his car parked across two handicapped spots at a Walgreens on the south side.

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Update:

Newly released police body camera footage reveals more about what officers said and did, in their scuffle with NBA player Sterling Brown in Milwaukee. Brown was tased and arrested early on a January morning, but he was not charged with a crime.

Almost two weeks ago, the Milwaukee Police Department released the highly anticipated video footage of the altercation between several officers and the Milwaukee Bucks rookie. Police confronted Brown, after noticing his car parked across two handicapped spaces at a Walgreens on the city’s south side.

Milwaukee police have released bodycam footage showing officers using a stun gun on Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown in a Walgreens parking lot in January.

The officers arrested Brown, who is black, after challenging him over a parking violation. Brown was not charged with a crime.

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The Milwaukee Police Department has been bracing for the public reaction to bodycamera footage showing the tasing of Bucks rookie player Sterling Brown. The incident happened this past January, and according to some officials familiar with the footage, it raises concerns about how the officers behaved in this incident.

Maayan Silver

Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission has voted a second time to name Alfonso Morales chief of police until early 2020.

This past February, when Edward Flynn retired, the citizen panel promoted Morales from the position of captain to that of interim chief. Many people assumed Morales would remain in that role until the commission completed a search for Flynn's replacement. Then last month, the panel decided Morales should serve out Flynn's four-year term, which would have ended in 2020.

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Milwaukeeans looking for solutions to a tense climate between communities and the police force could look to the city of Cincinnati as an example. The area's population is comparable to Milwaukee, and has dealt with many of the same issues of mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities. 

But years of work in Cincinnati has led to a different climate. Their model for change is one that a group called the Community Coalition for Quality Policing would like to see implemented in Milwaukee.

(vincent desjardins) / Flickr

The work of police departments around the country has been under particular scrutiny in the last year. Some high profile shootings by police – and of police - have strained the relationship between some departments and the communities they are sworn to protect. 

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