Suspended Milwaukee Police Detective Rodolfo Gomez, Jr. Files Duty Disability Claim
Detective Rodolfo Gomez Jr. is currently suspended from the Milwaukee Police Department for beating a handcuffed suspect. He also has a lengthy history of disturbing behavior. And he, like 4 other officers currently suspended for disciplinary problems, has filed a duty disability claim that would allow him to continue receiving 75% of his salary, tax-free, despite being suspended.
Talking Points Memo Asks: What Is Going On In Wisconsin -- And Why Is It So Secret?
It’s a topic so hot in Wisconsin, no one involved with it can talk about it. A wide-ranging investigation, a special prosecutor, and the cloak of secrecy. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week that a former federal prosecutor had been appointed to lead a “John Doe investigation” into state-level issues in Wisconsin, including the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. And this John Doe investigation reportedly grew out of an earlier John Doe probe, which closed in March after snaring six former aides and associates of Gov. Scott Walker (R). But hang on a second. What exactly is a John Doe investigation? For those outside Wisconsin, the term may be unfamiliar, and with good reason. Wisconsin may be the only state that uses them.
Why Wisconsin jails so many black people
The state that locks up the highest percentage of black men is Wisconsin. The national average is 6.7%, but in Wisconsin it’s 12.8% - more than three percentage points higher than the second-placed state, Oklahoma.
A visit to Milwaukee by the BBC’s Franz Strasser provides some of the answers why.
New suits against cops allege more instances of illegal body searches
Three more people who say they were victims of illegal rectal searches — including a juvenile — have sued the city of Milwaukee and police officials, claiming the practice and failure to stop it sooner violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights.
The lawsuits, filed late Tuesday in federal court, follow similar claims by five men who sued the city last month. More suits are expected from the 30 or more people who came forward during an investigation last year into the illegal practices.
Read more here.
Wisconsin man, 76, gets life in prison for shooting 13-year-old neighbor to death
The 76-year-old Milwaukee man who admitted shooting and killing his 13-year-old neighbor last year was sentenced to life in prison Monday…Jurors took less than an hour last week to find Spooner guilty of first-degree intentional homicide after they watched video — from his own security camera — of Spooner shooting Darius Simmons in the chest in May 2012.
This is what is supposed to happen when you shoot and kill a young, innocent person.
Someone should tell Florida.
Milwaukee FBI chief transferred, under investigation
The recently reassigned head of the Milwaukee FBI is under investigation for trying to improperly influence a subordinate’s testimony in a lawsuit.
According to a new report by the ACLU:
Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system.
Marijuana use is roughly equal among blacks and whites, yet blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
And the racial disparity in Wisconsin is, once again, worse than the national average. In Waukesha County alone, black people were arrested for marijuana possession at nearly 13 times the rate of white people.
A shameful first place for Wisconsin. More fine reporting from Urban Milwaukee’s Bruce Murphy:
No state comes close to Wisconsin in imprisoning black males. The study found that 12.8 percent, or 1 in 8 of African American working age men, were incarcerated. That rate is 32 percent higher than the second worst state, Oklahoma, and nearly double the national average of 6.7 percent (or 1 in 15).
No system worth preserving should have to fear that, if an accused is permitted to consult with a lawyer, he will become aware of, and exercise, these rights. If the exercise of constitutional rights will thwart the effectiveness of a system of law enforcement, then there is something very wrong with that system.
--Escobedo v. Illinois
[L]awyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries. The right of one charged with crime to counsel may not be deemed fundamental and essential to fair trials in some countries, but it is in ours. From the very beginning, our state and national constitutions and laws have laid great emphasis on procedural and substantive safeguards designed to assure fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him.
--Gideon v. Wainwright turns 50 years old today.