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Community Members Critical of BBC's 'Murder in Milwaukee' Documentary

Courtesy of Vaun Mayes Bey
Left to Right: Sedan Smith, Thaddeus Ashford and BBC's Louis Theroux.

Murder in Milwaukee -- that’s the name of a new documentary from the BBC. The documentary chronicles the Milwaukee Police Department as they work to curb gun violence, and looks at the relationship between police and African Americans. But the depiction of Milwaukee as a “lawless” city has angered some community activists.

READ: BBC documentary sparks outrage, prompts questions about crew's access to crime scenes

WUWM reporters Aisha Turner and LaToya Dennis spoke with two of the people featured in the documentary.

Shawnda Payne is an EMT. She also runs Unity in the Community -- a grassroots movement to quell gang violence. That work is left out of the BBC documentary. What’s included is Payne’s own history as a gang member.

And Thaddeus Ashford -- who sometimes goes by Taz -- he’s the cousin of Sylville Smith, the man killed by a police officer in the Sherman Park neighborhood last August.

Listen to the full conversation here:


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Support for Race & Ethnicity reporting is provided by the Ramiah Family Foundation.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.