Three years ago, Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Jonathan Brostoff was talking with residents on the block where 23-year-old Sylville Smith was fatally shot by a Milwaukee police officer when he, ACLU organizer Jarrett English and several others were arrested.
It was the Tuesday night after the Aug. 13, 2016, shooting. Police say residents had asked them to disperse the crowds that had been gathering at a memorial on the block.
A police officer arrested Brostoff and English, forced them to the ground and searched and restrained them before eventually releasing them without charges.
Brostoff spoke with NNS about his thoughts at the time and his perspective three years later.
Brostoff would like to see reforms to the system of policing and to the city’s and state’s priorities for investment.
He also would like to make life easier for law enforcement officers.
Although he doesn’t believe that the frustrations that led to the unrest in Sherman Park three years ago have changed much, Brostoff said he has been impressed with the work that grassroots activists Vaun Mayes and others are doing to help youths.
In addition, the work being done by advocacy, leadership development and organizing groups of color — he named Black Leaders Organizing for Communities and Leaders Igniting Transformation — give him hope, he said.
Sherman Park: Three years later
Our special report: For more on what’s happened to Sherman Park three years after the unrest, click here.
Hear NNS Editor Ron Smith discuss our coverage of Sherman Park on WUWM-FM’s (89.7) “Lake Effect.”
About Andrea Waxman
Andrea is a senior staff writer for NNS, where she writes about people who do great things as well as education, policy issues and economic development that affect our neighborhoods. You can reach her through email or call the newsroom at (414) 604-6397.
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