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Milwaukeeans Protest Police Brutality Ahead Of Chauvin Verdict

Protesters at Red Arrow Park
Emily Files
Protesters at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee hold up their fists during a moment of silence for victims of police shootings.

A group of about 60 people gathered at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee Sunday to speak out against police brutality and racial injustice, with chants of “Say their names! Which one?”

The names of people killed by police were written on the sidewalk in the park, including Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy shot March 29 in Chicago; and Daunte Wright, a 20-year Black man killed April 11 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

“We’ve seen the same cycle going on over and over again,” said Christiaan Cocroft, a member of the Milwaukee chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which organized Sunday’s protest. “With a police shooting happening, and people are reacting and being in the streets, but then there’s no justice being served. And we want justice to be served to these victims.”

Emily Files
The names of people killed by police were written on the sidewalk at Red Arrow Park ahead of a protest.

As people protest the killings of Wright and Toledo, they’re also waiting for the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd. Closing arguments in the trial begin Monday.

“No matter the outcome of this trial, it really won’t be enough,” Cocroft said. “Because no real reform ... or jail sentence is gonna make up for the real justice that these victims deserve. They should be here.”

Cocroft and his group is calling not for reform, but for abolition of the police and of capitalism.

“We have to get rid of the police and we can’t do that within this system,” said Robert Penner, another member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. “We can’t sever the police from the cornerstone of an oppressive system. So we have to set up an entirely new system.”

The group says they’ll keep marching to raise awareness of their demands.

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