“Municipal courts, as we are fond of saying, are not broken. They are a coercive apparatus perfectly suited to limiting the mobility (physical, economic, and political) of racialized subjects. They will produce what they are designed to produce until they are abolished.” – Brendan Roediger
Milwaukee exercised its option to create a municipal court in 1975. Since that time, Milwaukee Municipal Court has played an important role in legitimizing police, expanding the scope of the legal punishment system, and has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from Milwaukee residents, primarily Black residents who are experiencing poverty. In 2015, several of Milwaukee’s Common Council members publicly considered abolishing the municipal court.This piece will explore the harms perpetrated by the municipal court and show that Milwaukee Municipal Court must be abolished.
There is an audio version of this article, which should also be available anywhere you can subscribe to podcasts. If you cannot find it on your preferred ap, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
[UPDATE: the finance committee meeting was postponed to Monday July 26, because of a sport, and Chisholm’s newest report has appeared. ]
Milwaukee county sheriff, Earnell Lucas has been breaking the law for the last few months. County ordinance 56.02 requires that government agencies with projections of a “deficit of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) or an overtime deficit of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00)” must file a report that “shall include the reasons for the anticipated deficit, as well as a recommended plan of action or alternatives to offset such deficit.” Earnell Lucas has exceeded the $3 million sheriff’s office (MCSO) overtime budget by at least three times a million every year, without filing adequate reports as required, by law.
As abolitionists, we don’t much care for laws, but we also despise law enforcement hypocrisy. We have found that, when it comes to following, rather than enforcing them, cops and sheriffs don’t much care for laws either.