“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.
On May 13th 2021, Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) staff and guards at Green Bay CI murdered someone. We have heard from a few people who are also being held at GBCI that his name was Antonio Whatley. Despite having called GBCI, sent email inquiries to its administrators and the sheriff’s department, and filed records requests (for the victim’s name and DOC number, as well as daily shift logs), we have yet to receive any information about this from the DOC. The information we have received we are going to share here, but in the interest of protecting the people who are helping us stay informed, we will be publishing their words anonymously. They have several reasons to be concerned for their safety—both in general, and specifically when they are sharing information the guards don’t want to be shared. Retaliation that prisoners experience from guards is real, torturous, and potentially deadly.