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The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin issued a statement criticizing the Milwaukee Police Department for the response to an off-duty MPD officer’s assault on two photographers during an LGBTQ Black women’s march earlier this month.
After the off-duty officer, who had reportedly been drinking, damaged the cameras of Sean Kafer and LaTasha Lux and assaulted them, the officer was not arrested. Instead, the photographers were both cited for disorderly conduct.
Chris Ott, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, issued this statement:
“This incident provides a perfect example of why police and community relations have become so tumultuous, and why the policing institution, as it exists, is broken. The responding officers’ apparent decision to cover up the truth and provide misinformation to Kafer and Lux is concerning and should be thoroughly investigated by the Fire and Police Commission. This looks like a betrayal of trust of the Milwaukee community and a problem with the culture of policing in Milwaukee. It looks like community concerns with officer behavior are not taken seriously.
“It is beyond comprehension that even after the photographers were assaulted and their property destroyed, they faced citations for disorderly conduct, while the officer seemed to have escaped consequences. No one peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights should fear for the safety of themselves, or their property, especially at the hands of the law enforcement officers who are supposed to serve and protect the community, both on and off-duty.”