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'I didn’t suffocate the guy:' Milwaukee police officer charged in 25-year-old man's death

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A 13-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department has been charged in the death of a 25-year-old man. The charges come more than three weeks after Officer Michael Mattioli was arrested. 

Joel Acevedo

Thirty-two-year-old Mattioli was off-duty when the fight happened near 45th and Cleveland on April 19. 

Twenty-five-year-old Joel Acevedo was left unconscious. He was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital and on April 25, died from his injuries.

Mattioli has been charged with first degree reckless homicide. 

According to a criminal complaint, authorities were called to Mattioli's home just after 7 a.m. on April 19. The complaint says a struggle could be heard on the 911 call. Mattioli identified himself as a police officer and said he needed help. The victim was reportedly heard on the call saying, "I swear I'll go home. I swear." 

When police arrived at the scene, the complaint says they found the off-duty officer straddling Acevedo, who was on his stomach. Authorities noted Acevedo was not moving. 

When an officer asked Mattioli if Acevedo was breathing his response was "I don't know." 

Mattioli told police he had a party the night before and said when he woke up, Acevedo was going through his pockets.

According to the criminal complaint, Acevedo went to leave but got into a fight with another man in the home.

Mattioli says he grabbed Acevedo around his neck because he didn’t want him to get away, but said he didn’t squeeze as hard as he could saying, “I didn’t suffocate the guy. I had my arms around his neck yes, and I held him there but I didn’t suffocate the guy, I didn’t press hard enough."

Mattioli went on to say, "I didn’t squeeze as hard as I could because I know, I’m not stupid. I know what it is you know … I know what’s deadly force and what’s not, but I held him there to make sure he didn’t get away … until the … you guys showed up … look, I wasn’t holding him to make his air cut off you know I’m not stupid."

An autopsy determined Acevedo choked to death. His family said in a statement, "it has been the hardest thing they’ve ever had to go through and that losing Joel has left a void that can never be filled.”

Milwaukee Police Department said Wednesday, May 13, Mattioli was placed on full suspension. He could face up to 60 years in prison.

MPD released the following statement after the charges were filed: 

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office issued one count of First Degree Reckless Homicide against Michael Mattioli in connection to the death of Joel Acevedo.

Michael Mattioli is a 13 year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department; however, he was off-duty when the incident took place and has been placed on full suspension.

This incident is being investigated by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

“This is a sad situation for everyone involved and I send my condolences to Mr. Acevedo’s family and friends,” said Chief Morales.

Read the full statement from the family of Joel Acevedo below: 

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Homer 20 days ago
Off duty, or not... he identified himself as a Police officer on the 911 call. That would qualify Joel Acevedo's family for the Black Lives Matter LOTTERY, and a payment of $$$ Millions.

Black Lives Matter, when a rare Black death involves the police, not so much in the daily shootings in the Black community.

Sasha 21 days ago
That officer was a racist cunt who wanted to kill along with the other cunt officers in line who have pulled cowardly moves killing hispanics or blacks...U never hear of a white man getting guned down.killed quote on quote on "Accident", or strangled or shot down cuz they thought he was reaching for a "gun" its always young handsome black or hispanic guys...Alot of those cunts join the force with an agenda to kill the particular race they hate which is 9/10 times black people. They rape our women and kill are man because black women and men are the most unique characters on this earth.And the racist bunch hates that Just like the black man going on a run 🏃 last week was shot down by a white racist cunt and his cunt of a son helped they dont wanna see us live in the same neighborhood as them or be able to run up a check and swipe that card to purchase whatever we please they hate seeing succesful black people they expect us to be Malt liquored out or crackheads lol smh its sickening how blacks are degraded..But i know there are good hearted ppl too it just more bad deeds than good that i see towars the african culture just as many white ppl are on welfare food atamps government assistance as a low income black peraon but yet were always targeted ...Long story short i hope they sodomize and treat that officer like a sextrafficing ginny pig 🐖 Because he deserves to have a slow painful going home party like he gave that young innocent man when he could have let him go like he yelled before he was Choked out.. Why do most officers think they can just do anything and get away with it wow I hope Satin has his Oven on 1million degrees for all those fake racist pretending to be heros that we all know are wolfs in sheeps clothing, waiting on their next pray taking innocent lives day by day burn baby 🔥
Lawrence 21 days ago
Couldn't subdue without killing him?
Let me be on that jury.
Rommel 22 days ago
I like put my arms around his neck and didn't squeeze much.
Marc 22 days ago
I am glad I do not live in Milwaukee anymore.
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