Controversy Over Police Killing of Roberto Zielinski

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Jacob Gonzalez, Roberto Zielinski’s nephew, speaks to reporters astatine  a property   league  Friday, July 16, 2021, successful  Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Jacob Gonzalez, Roberto Zielinski’s nephew, speaks to reporters astatine a property league Friday, July 16, 2021, successful Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The household of Roberto Zielinski, the 49-year-old who was changeable and killed by a Milwaukee Police Department officer, says the assemblage camera footage of the shooting that constabulary released was heavy and misleadingly edited. They are calling connected officials to marque the afloat portion publically available.

“The Milwaukee Police Department says that it is releasing a video of the shooting for transparency purposes, but releases a video that is doctored and edited to propulsion their narrative. That is not transparent, that is not accountability, and that is not justice,” said Russell Ainsworth, the family’s attorney, at a Friday day property league extracurricular Milwaukee City Hall.

Ainsworth said the constabulary omitted that Zielinski had been calling retired for assistance moments earlier helium was shot, and asked for his sister — Angela Gonzalez, a Milwaukee constabulary serviceman — to beryllium contacted. He says the household knows from Zielinski’s telephone log that helium had called 911 himself earlier his confrontation with police.

Gonzalez’s son, Jacob Gonzalez, was astatine the property league Friday.

“My ma should inactive person her brother, my cousins should inactive person their dada today,” said Jacob Gonzalez. “It’s inactive lone a period and a half, and we’re each inactive grieving.”

“My mom’s my idol, I’ve got different members successful the household that person been done these trainings, that enactment their lives to go thing that they privation to be, and they’re doing bully for the community,” Jacob continued. “I privation that for different crises that happen, conscionable similar what happened with my uncle that day, tin beryllium treated successful the close way, successful a mode wherever officers cognize however to grip and to respect the civilians that they protect.”

Attorney Russell Ainsworth speaks arsenic  Roberto Zielinski’s household  members and supporters basal   down  him holding signs Friday, July 16, 2021, successful  Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Attorney Russell Ainsworth speaks arsenic Roberto Zielinski’s household members and supporters basal down him holding signs Friday, July 16, 2021, successful Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The attorneys person been capable to spot unedited footage from a azygous assemblage camera — that of the shooter — but privation the unedited footage from each serviceman astatine the country to beryllium released.

Milwaukee constabulary person said that a 47-year-old serviceman changeable Zielinski aft helium was firing shots from his structure and would not driblet his weapon erstwhile ordered to bash so. Ainsworth said the shots occurred earlier constabulary arrived, erstwhile Zielinski was successful an alley and connected the beforehand structure of his home.

Police released some of the footage Friday. It includes 2 911 calls made astir Zielinski, including 1 successful which his neighbor, whose sanction is redacted, tells constabulary “He’s legit trying to beryllium suicidal, truthful if they travel up connected him, he’s astir apt gonna shoot.”

In the video, Milwaukee Police Capt. Patrick Pajot describes what’s happening. He said the serviceman who changeable Zielinski was assigned to a tactical enforcement unit.

“Officers successful this portion received peculiar grooming to respond to these volatile types of calls and are trained to effort to deescalate the situation,” Pajot said successful the video. “They tin beryllium heard asking the taxable respective times to enactment the weapon down and archer him ‘it’s OK'”

In an emailed statement, Milwaukee constabulary said it lone redacts accusation retired of necessity, usually to support the individuality of radical not with the constabulary department. The connection noted that the constabulary department disguised the voices and removed identifying accusation for the 911 callers, and comments made by Zielinski that would person identified a subordinate of his family.

“The commentary successful MPD’s assemblage briefings are not meant to transportation the viewer, but alternatively to supply discourse of the incident,” the connection said. “MPD makes a concerted effort to see the due level of assemblage camera footage indispensable to supply an close depiction of what occurred and does not region immoderate contented due to the fact that of however it whitethorn bespeak connected the department.”

Waukesha Police did not respond to a petition for comment.

The household and their lawyer quality that Zielinski was a information to officers erstwhile helium was shot.

“When helium was connected the backmost porch, successful the enactment with the constabulary that led to his death, helium fired nary shots, helium posed nary threat, and yet helium was gunned down by a Milwaukee officer,” said Ainsworth.

Wisconsin instrumentality requires an autarkic bureau to analyse cases wherever a civilian dies arsenic a effect of a constabulary officer’s actions, oregon inaction. The Waukesha Police Department is starring the probe into Zielinski’s shooting. The Milwaukee serviceman was placed connected administrative leave, arsenic is regular successful constabulary shootings. The serviceman has not been identified publicly.

The Milwaukee Police Department pledged to release at slightest portions of assemblage camera footage of constabulary shootings wrong 45 days nether erstwhile Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, a deadline it hasn’t ever met.

Roberto Zielinski, right, with his sister Angela Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of the Zielinski family/WPR.

Roberto Zielinski, right, with his sister Angela Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of the Zielinski family/WPR.

Ainsworth said Zielinski is the begetter of 2 boys, ages 23 and 14, and had conscionable finished bartending school. He wanted to beryllium a counselor.

“He wanted to instrumentality what helium had struggled with, and flooded successful his life, and bring it to different people,” helium said. “He ne'er had that chance.”

The lawyer said Zielinski’s household is inactive considering its options erstwhile it comes to suing the department. They are calling for the constabulary serviceman who changeable Zielinski to beryllium charged.

The household of Joel Acevedo, who was killed by off-duty Milwaukee constabulary serviceman Michael Mattioli, likewise called for the merchandise of assemblage camera footage from the events starring up to Acevedo’s death. A judge ruled successful May that the footage could beryllium released.

Listen to the WPR study here.

Family Of Roberto Zielinski, Shot And Killed By Milwaukee Police, Condemn ‘Heavily Edited’ Body Cam Video was primitively published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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