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Activists call for justice in death of Milwaukee man after fight with off-duty police officer

NOW: Activists call for justice in death of Milwaukee man after fight with off-duty police officer

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Loud voices came from a small crowd near 45th and Cleveland Thursday evening.

This group was standing in memory of 25-year-old Joel Acevedo.

“You cannot demonize someone after they’re gone and strip them of their dignity," community activist Tory Lowe said.

Officer Michael Mattioli is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

He told authorities he caught Acevedo trying to steal from him during a gathering at his house.

Community activists challenged this account during the rally.

“It’s very unfair. He worked his whole life to become a security guard. He was at a place that he knew these were officers. What person in their right mind would actually try to steal from a known police officer?”

“You have this man who was murdered during a time when the city was supposed to be on lock down," said activist Elizabeth Brown.

This week, Mayor Barrett called for Mattioli to be fired.

The Fire and Police Commission also took over the internal investigation.

Both moves are being criticized by the Milwaukee Police Association.

Dale Bormann, Jr, union president, said the commission is caving to political pressure, impacting a fair discipline for the off-duty officer.

In a statement, he wrote “The FPC does not have the experience of investigating internal investigations.”

Meanwhile, fairness is also being asked for on the city’s southwest side.

And in their eyes, it’s for the victim.

“We have to make sure that we are getting this story and putting it in the right frame," Lowe said.

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Mike_James 15 days ago
I worked with this man. He was a good man, and definitely not a thief.
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