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Senator Tim Carpenter: “Plantation Mentality” Plagues Milwaukee Police

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Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, said there is a “plantation mentality” in Milwaukee because many of the city’s police officers are white.

“That makes me feel it’s a plantation mentality that white people that live outside of the city who are coming in to enforce laws for people that are minorities. And they aren’t being treated right.”

Carpenter made the remarks during the Tuesday’s debate over police reforms in the city of Milwaukee.

“People [of color] in the city of Milwaukee, brown people, Native Americans, black people, make-up a majority of the city. A big part of the police officers are white, and they don’t live in the city of Milwaukee,” Carpenter said during the debate over proposed police reforms.

Fellow Democratic Senator Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, argued there needs to be a connection between the people who oversee police officers and the community.

Carpenter’s comments came during the debate over a Democratic plan to require members of Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission to live within the city of Milwaukee.

The residency requirement proposal failed, and no one mentioned Carpenter’s “plantation” comments.

“We do not have occupying forces within the state of Wisconsin,” Larson said. “So this, at the very least, says those members of a fire and police commission…have to live there. [They] gotta be a member of the community.”

The Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday did pass four police reform plans, including one that mandates changes to Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission.

Se. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, said the Milwaukee FPC “has been an embarrassment for years.”