Changes to Milwaukee Police procedures have local activists upset

NOW: Changes to Milwaukee Police procedures have local activists upset

On Wednesday local activists held a press conference to voice concern over the updated Milwaukee Police Standard Operating Procedures.

Some local organizations say the changes would lead to racial profiling of immigrants in the city.

According to the updated SOP the rules will go into effect on July 6. Now, some activists and community members are upset at local leaders over it.

As of Thursday, a person must no longer meet a list of criteria before being questioned by Milwaukee police about their immigration status. It also adds that an officer “shall inform” ice officials of location or behavior of a “suspected illegal immigrant” when arrested on a felony or other serious crime like terrorism or gang activity.

Although the changes were approved by the city attorney, activists believe the actions are in response to the Trump administration’s actions to remove funding from sanctuary cities.

“There is a national injunction that says you can’t use this to threaten federal funding because we believe this federal demand is unconstitutional,” says Voces de la Frontera founder Christine Neumann-Ortiz.

“Who do we really trust if our leadership is telling us one thing and then going back on it,” says Norma Duckworth, Milwaukee resident.

Community members and activists criticized the Mayor for the changes after telling the community he would support refugees and immigrants during Trump’s refugee ban.

Mayor Barrett’s spokesman released a statement saying, “The mayor strongly supports Milwaukee’s immigrant community. He values their contributions to our economy and their contributions to our community. The Mayor has no interest in having Milwaukee police take on any increased role in immigration enforcement.”

Organizers asked the community to attend the following police and fire committee meeting to ask for a say in the changes. That meeting is scheduled to take place on June 13th at 5 p.m.

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