Justice for Sylville Smith: Release the Tape!

Sign the Petition

    Not ? Click here.

    * denotes required fields


    Justice for Sylville Smith: Release the Tape!

    On August 13, 2016, 23-year-old Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer during a traffic stop that turned deadly, a narrative we've heard far too often. According to Police Chief Edward Flynn, the 20-25 second incident was recorded on a police body camera. But only the police have access to this footage and their public statements have only focused on the actions of Sylville and not the shooting officer, a tactic frequently used by law enforcement to criminalize Black folks and justify killing them.

    Communities fought for body cameras to hold police accountable, not further protect them. Sylville's family and community deserve to know the truth of the matter as seen on camera, not as told by the police. Even the Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, called for a quick public release of the body camera footage, but no action has been taken by the Wisconsin Attorney General, who oversees the department leading the investigation.

    Milwaukee's Black communities have a longstanding distrust of local law enforcement for good reason. Time and time again, we've seen police misrepresent the facts of shootings only to learn later that a Black person was unjustly killed. The best way to resolve the tension in Milwaukee is full transparency. Join us in demanding the release of the tape of Sylville Smith's killing.

    This is the letter we'll send to the Wisconsin Department of Justice on your behalf.

    Dear Attorney General Schimel,

    I am writing to ask you to release the Milwaukee Police body camera footage of Sylville Smith. Tensions are high in Milwaukee and the unrest is only further stoked by a lack of transparency.

    Too often, original police reports are later proven false by video evidence or contradicting witnesses. Body cameras improve police accountability and relationships with communities when the technology is being used fairly.

    Please act to release the video of Sylville Smith's killing immediately.


    [Your Name]

    Sign the Petition