Milwaukee, Wisconsin – June 23, 2020 – On the heels of George Floyd’s death, Attorney Benjamin Crump has joined the attorney representing Joel Acevedo’s family in Milwaukee, to seek justice in yet another police strangulation case.
Joel Acevedo was invited to attend a house party at the home of off-duty police officer Michael Mattioli on April 18, 2020. While the city was on lock down due to COVID-19, and law enforcement officers were issuing citations to those who did not adhere to stay at home restrictions, Mattioli, a sworn police officer, was not following the very rules that he was supposed to be enforcing.
Joel Acevedo’s body was discovered by the Milwaukee City Police department, face down and unresponsive at the hands of Michael Mattioli and other unnamed participants. Social justice leaders and community supporters who have rallied and marched on behalf of Joel Acevedo, continue to demand the public release of body CAM footage and 911 tapes from April 19, 2020, in order to shed light on Acevedo’s death.
“The world saw that the police officer had a knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds,” observed Crump. “Based on the 911 call and the police body camera video, Joel Acevedo’s family believe that he was choked by the police for over ten minutes. He was unconscious when the police officer finally took his hands off of his neck, and he remained that way until he was pronounced dead six days later. I am representing this family with Attorney LaMarr because the police continue to literally choke the life out of Black and Brown people.”
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Michael Mattioli will make his first appearance in what has ultimately been referred to by the community as a murder case. The Acevedo family will be allowed to provide a statement during this appearance, and attorneys for the family will be standing with their clients.
While the community continues to fight for justice and rally for the release of Body CAM footage and 911 tapes, the Acevedo family prepares for one of many anticipated court appearances in this case.
Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr said, “At what point do we call a police officer’s integrity into question? Do we wait until that officer kills another human being, or do we enact procedures and laws to ensure that we keep those who are sworn to protect and serve honest?” LaMarr says he believes that law enforcement officers do have a difficult job, he adds, “but it is what they signed up for, and in a system where liberty and justice for all should apply to all people, oftentimes law enforcement officers do step outside of the law.” This is when attorneys like Crump and LaMarr step in.
“I have joined Attorney LaMarr, Kirk Claunch, and the Acevedo family in this fight for justice, because I do have faith in the justice system, and I believe that no one is above the law – not even police officers,” said Benjamin Crump. He added, “we must all be held accountable for our actions, and our team intends to make absolutely sure that those responsible for Joel Acevedo’s death answer for their actions.”
Benjamin Crump has been referred to as the “go-to” person for racial justice cases, and the Acevedo case presents an opportunity for his legal team to do what they do best – serve as a voice for the voiceless.
Hundreds of supporters, including leaders from around the city of Milwaukee, are expected to gather on the lawn of the Milwaukee County Courthouse at 10AM in support of the Acevedo family.
Organizers are reminding participants that in order to continue the fight for justice, everyone must stay safe and healthy, therefore all attendees are asked to bring a mask and practice safe distancing.