By Cassandra Lans
On Tuesday, April 10, members of the community in Milwaukee held a Rally and March for Justice for Trayvon and Bo Morrison in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statue on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and Bo Morrison here in West Bend and victims of police brutality in Milwaukee has ignited an effort to seek solutions for these crimes.
The rally began at the King Statue for a program of community speakers, and then the group marched to the 5th District Police Station at 4th and Locust. The event was organized by ‘The Coalition for Justice for Trayvon and Bo Morrison’, and it is comprised of various organizations; Occupy the Hood, Peace Action WI, National Black United Front, Occupy Milwaukee, WI Bail Out the People Movement, Africans On The Move, Students for a Democratic Society, Nation of Islam Muhammad Mosque #3, Voces de la Frontera, Milwaukee Brotherhood of Fire Fighters, Milwaukee NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union, WI Jobs Now, Latin American Solidarity Committee, International Action Center, Gay Straight Alliance of Rufus King H.S., Occupy Fond Du Lac and AFSCME Local 82.
The Trayvon Martin story is still generating national headlines, whereas the tragic story of Bo Morrison has not been highlighted as much. This tragic story began March 3 when Bo Morrison, 20 died in the early morning hours after he fled an underage drinking party in Slinger, WI, hid inside a neighbor’s enclosed porch at 2 am and was shot by the homeowner investigating noises.
Washington County District Attorney Mark Bensen announced in mid-March that the shooter, Adam Kind, 35, was justified under Wisconsin’s castle doctrine law and would not be charged with any crime. The law, passed last year, presumes that anyone using deadly force against unlawful intruders to their home acts reasonably.
Although Morrison was biracial, a racial angle has not dominated this story. However, many feel that the castle doctrine law opens the door to kill with an excuse. Many close to the Morrison family have been vocal of the fact that the shooter could have called out that he had a gun and allow an opportunity for Morrison to run or explain why he was there.
Since Morrison’s death protesters have gathered to voice their opposition to the law. More than 160 protesters lined Highway 33 carrying signs such as “Repeal the castle doctrine” and “Castle doctrine=License to kill.”
The Coalition for Justice is demanding the following;
- Prosecution of the killers of Trayvon Martin and Bo Morrison
- Abolishment of racist vigilante laws
- Ending attacks on communities of color
- Establishment of a Milwaukee Police Department Civilian Review Board.