Milwaukee, WI – On the night of May 30, Milwaukee police responded to a call alleging gunshots were fired outside a home near 29th Street and Cleveland Avenue on the city’s South Side. Upon arrival, police claim to have heard additional gunshots before spotting a man with a gun on the front porch of the home referenced in the emergency call.
The man, later identified as Roberto Zielinski, retreated to the back porch where the cops allege more shots were fired. Police say Zielinski disregarded commands to drop his weapon. At this point, an unidentified MPD officer shot and killed Zielinski. The officer, a six-year veteran at MPD, has since been placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.
People in the neighborhood where Zielinski was murdered said they only heard one set of gunshots, and it came from the police.
The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held a press conference with members of the Zielinski family on the morning of June 6 outside Milwaukee Police District Six to demand the immediate release of the bodycam video.
Jacob Gonzalez, Zielinski’s nephew, stated, “The stress and emotions that my family has right now is at an all-time high. We all just really looked at each other and said, ‘we’ve got to know what’s going on because I can’t think my uncle would do anything like this.’”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Jessica Zielinski, Roberto’s sister-in-law, who reiterated the family’s desire for the bodycam footage to be released in order to know what happened on the night of May 30. It is a week since Zielinski murder and the footage has yet to be released.
“It is ridiculous to think that the city funds body cameras, supposedly for transparency, and the public has to jump through hoops to have access to body camera footage. Holding on to the footage for too long gives the public the impression that the police are working on a coverup. And they aren’t wrong for assuming so,” said Omar Flores, co-chair of the Milwaukee Alliance.
Flores continued, “Rumors are dangerous for both the police department and the public. Releasing the footage will put an end to rumors and put a spotlight on the truth.”
The Milwaukee Alliance unites with the Zielinski family’s demands for transparency from Milwaukee Police Department and for the bodycam footage to be released immediately. Fight Back! will continue to provide coverage of the situation as it develops.
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