Calls for justice grow in death of man at Milwaukee hotel

By Corey Williams | Associated Press

Calls for justice in the death of a Black man who was pinned to the ground during a struggle with security guards at a Milwaukee hotel are growing as thousands of GOP supporters and protesters are expected to gather in the city for the Republican National Convention.

D’Vontaye Mitchell’s death on June 30 has become the most recent flashpoint in how the nation confronts race and what some see as the systemic brutality of Black people by members of law enforcement or others in authority, four years after the May 2020 killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The outcry comes as Milwaukee is already dealing with heightened security concerns around political protests days before the July 15 start of the convention.

“Just because they have a big event coming up in Milwaukee, the killing of D’Vontaye Mitchell is just as important as anything else that’s going to happen in Milwaukee this month,” noted civil rights attorney Ben Crump told reporters Monday.

“We will demand justice every day this week, every day next week and every day after that,” said Crump, who is part of a team of lawyers representing Mitchell’s family. His relatives have called for charges to be filed against those responsible for the 43-year-old’s death.

Crump also represented the family of Floyd, whose death spurred worldwide protests against racial violence and police brutality.

“Everybody in America, after George Floyd, should have trained their employees, especially security personnel, to not put knees on peoples’ backs and peoples’ necks,” Crump added.

A spokesperson for Aimbridge Hospitality, which runs the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, said in a statement that it extends its condolences to Mitchell’s family and supports the investigation.

Mitchell died at the Hyatt Regency after four security guards held him down on his stomach, media outlets have reported. Police have said Mitchell entered the hotel, caused a disturbance and fought with the guards as they were escorting him out.

The medical examiner’s office has said the preliminary cause of death was homicide, but the cause remains under investigation. No one has been criminally charged so far.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday that it and police investigators were awaiting full autopsy results and that the case was being reviewed as a homicide.

Surveillance video from inside the hotel viewed by Mitchell’s family and their lawyers Wednesday at the district attorney’s office showed an unarmed man fleeing for his life while being punched and kicked, they said during an afternoon news conference.

“What I saw today was disgusting. It makes me sick to my stomach,” Mitchell’s widow, DeAsia Harmon said. “He ran for his life. He was trying to leave. He said ‘I’ll go,’ and they didn’t let him go.”

Harmon said the video showed a bleeding Mitchell being dragged outside the hotel. “They didn’t stop. They could have let him go, but they didn’t,” she said.

Crump said the family’s legal team also has a signed affidavit from a hotel employee who said a security guard was striking Mitchell with a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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