'Justice for Joel:' Demonstrators demand Milwaukee Officer Mattioli be held accountable for death of 25-year-old
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Justice for Joel.
That was the cry Friday night on Milwaukee’s southwest side, for the man who died after an alleged fight with an off-duty city police officer.
“The way he begged to go home. You restrained him, you restrained him,” Maribel Acevedo, Joel Acevedo’s mother, said.
She’s speaking about her son’s last moments on April 19.
“When I imagine my son’s last words, as a mother, ‘let me go home’,” she continued.
She spoke as relatives and a large crowd of strangers listened on, and also cried out in support.
Family members organized Friday’s rally for answers in the 25-year-old’s death.
“I have talked to the district attorney. Those two witnesses? I’ve had an issue from day one,” Jose Acevedo, Joel’s father, said.
Michael Mattioli, 32, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.
He was off-duty when the incident that left Acevedo unconscious happened.
In court records, Mattioli claimed he caught Acevedo stealing.
The victim died six days later.
“This family outright rejects any assertion that Joel is a thief and that Joel assaulted anyone on April 19,” said Acevedo family attorney B’Ivory Lamarr.
Acevedo’s family says they won’t rest until he’s held accountable.
“We’re going to find out the truth because, like I said before, whatever’s in the dark, God himself, almighty God himself, is going to bring it to the light,” Jose Acevedo said.
Mattioli will make his first court appearance June 24.
In separate statements to CBS 58, the Milwaukee Police Department wrote:
“The Milwaukee Police Department sends our condolences to the Acevedo family. The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office is the agency conducting the criminal investigation and the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is conducting the internal investigation.”
“Police Chief Alfonso Morales would like to send his condolences to the Acevedo Family. We’d like to take this time to reiterate that as of May 19, 2020, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is the only entity that has the authority to terminate Officer Mattioli.
Please click the link to see the chief’s message regarding this incident: https://youtu.be/VyFsjQbdsEs”.