Wauwatosa Police Department kept, shared 'watch list' of people involved in city protests

NOW: Wauwatosa Police Department kept, shared ’watch list’ of people involved in city protests

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- There's more controversy brewing against the Wauwatosa Police Department.

There are calls for a federal probe after it was revealed police were keeping track of those protesting against them, even turning that list over to the FBI.

Kimberley Motley says she got the watch list through an open records request, that it has some 200 names on it -- even her own. She says the person who was compiling it said it was updated over and over, 100 times in the last year.

"This to me was a retaliatory, potentially retaliatory measure. There's no reason I'm on the list," said attorney Kimberley Motley.

As Wauwatosa protesters took to the streets last summer after then-officer Joseph Mensah fatally shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole, what they didn't know was their names were added to a watch list put together by a city employee.

"He created the list in June 2020, around June 5, 2020, and updated this list hundreds of times from June of 2020 until present day," said Motley.

Motley says even Cole's mom is on the watch list that was sent to the FBI and Milwaukee police.

"A grieving mom they put on this list and gave it to the FBI -- a civilian. So it's extremely disturbing. Frankly, I'm infuriated by it," said Motley.

State Representative Jonathan Brostoff and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin agree.

"I think we need to find out exactly how deep the corruption in the Wauwatosa Police Department goes and how bad it is, and you can't heal it if you don't reveal it," said Rep. Brostoff (D-Milwaukee).

"We certainly find it very troubling," said Tomas Clasen with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.

Wauwatosa police say the list was put together with a purpose, but not what Motley implies. It allowed investigators the ability to follow up with protesters should there be a need. It also provided situational awareness for nearby Milwaukee.

"While they're saying that's how the list is being used, the mere fact that the list is being kept only invites misuse," said Clasen.

Motley is encouraging anyone who was out there protesting to do their own open records request with Wauwatosa police.

Share this article: