Supervisor, Others Call Reversal a Vote for Public Safety
For the first time in its 127-year history, the Fire and Police Commission reversed a decision and has unanimously agreed to permanently terminate Police Officer Richard Schoen for the over use of force against Jeanine Tracy.
Credit for that reversal is being given to a number of community based organizations for rising up against police brutality during a Commission meeting last Thursday.
Many community and political observers believe if Occupy the Hood, Uran Underground, ABE (All Black Everything) and Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen did not stand up to demand change there would have been no justice and public safety would still be at-risk.
“This is a win for the people of this community who want better, for the good police officers who are really here to protect and serve all residents with respect and dignity and for the young people who are willing to continue the fight for what is right and to challenge the public officials to represent us better,” said 10th District Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen.
“The days of failed leadership and protecting mediocrity are over, and the times of a promising future in Milwaukee are coming. To ensure this, we must be willing to demand it.”
Bowen is unmoved by criticism by public officials within the city who accuse him of “dipping” into city business.
“Any issue that impacts the public safety and well-being of my constituents is my business,” said Bowen in a statement.
“It is my responsibility to stand when other public officials do not step up to make change with the power they have. I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”
Despite the Commission’s reversal of its earlier decision to reinstate Richard Schoen after he was fired by Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, Bowen still believes the members of the Commission should be removed and replaced with individuals who will vote in the interest of the community, public safety and the law, and not in favor of the pattern of corrupt officers who claim they are responsible for protecting and serving the public.
Bowen said the coalition of organizations involved in the Commission reversal has expanded and now includes more organizations and citizens who are committed to demand justice.
Bowen believes there are many more reforms of the Commission that can be acted upon by city officials, such as a public vetting process (see story below right) to engage residents on the requirements and selection for potential Fire and Police Commissioners.
Instead of the mayor privately picking favorties who don’t represent Milwaukee’s demographics, Bowen said the Commission should reflect the near 22 percent of residents, ages 18 to 35, who make-up this community.