Organizers from Just Leadership USA (JLUSA) and Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO) gathered with volunteers, activists, former inmates and loved ones outside of the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) on Oct. 8 to honor the memories of 17 individuals who died in the facility. The demonstration featured displays commemorating the deceased, a vigil and a candlelight procession to MSDF, 1015 N. 10th St.
Advocates for the #closeMSDF campaign said inmates have died from pneumonia, suicide, seizures and at the hands of MSDF guards. They also said Inmates endure extreme heat (as high as 116 degrees) and 20-hour lockdowns while being denied sunlight, time outdoors and in-person visitations. Vigil attendees told the stories of lives lost, then #CloseMSDF organizers asked those present to sign petitions, write to Gov. Scott Walker and attend future campaign events.
Event organizers listed the 17 people who have died at MSDF since 2001 as Moses Black, Jose Casarez, Jeremy Cunningham, James Daczyk, Jesse Davis, Peter Fengier, Robert McKinney, Jamie Medina, Bruce Morgan, Michael Moore, Russell Lee Murray, John Olsen, Cynthia Smith, Rodney Thornton, Myron Weston, James Wilborn and Wallace Williams.