MILWAUKEE-- Four months after a Milwaukee County deputy crashed into the vehicle of Ceasar Stinson blocks from the sheriff’s office, the deputy is now facing criminal charges. The Milwaukee County District Attorney charged Deputy Joel Striecher with reckless vehicular homicide in the death of the former Milwaukee Public Schools employee.
"When you are driving down the road and you are not paying attention for 11 seconds, and you run a light killing a leader of our community, or anyone, you have to pay the price," said Attorney Mark Thomsen who represents Stinson's family.
In January, Deputy Joel Striecher was driving when he collided with Stinson’s truck near 10th and State Street. The crash flipped Stinson’s vehicle on its side, killing the 47-year-old man on scene.
The criminal complaint provided new details on what happened that Jan. 27 morning.
Stinson was a beloved member of the Milwaukee community. He mentored many and was a lobbyist for MPS for nearly 20 years.
His daughter, Cearra, provided this statement after learning of the criminal charges against Striecher.
As a young black woman and only child, it has been particularly difficult for me to adjust to this new reality without my dad, my protector and confidant. I cherished the bond that my father and I had. As a result of Joel Streicher’s extreme recklessness, I lost the most important part of me. Moreover, the larger Milwaukee community lost someone whose energy and efforts can never be replaced. For three and a half grueling months I’ve waited patiently with the hope that justice would be served for my father. All indications are that my father’s death would have been prevented but for the extreme recklessness of Joel Streicher. Today, Joel Streicher is being criminally charged but this is but the first step on a long road. I will continue to wait for justice to be served with the conviction of Joel Streicher. I thank District Attorney John Chisholm and his staff for starting us down that road. My father was and remains a symbol of hope in the Milwaukee community. He stood for justice and the proposition that all persons should be entitled to equal justice under the laws. I can only hope that the justice that my dad lived for will not be denied him here. Ceasar's legacy demands that justice be served, he deserves it.
According to the criminal complaint, Streicher told investigators that he had looked down at his MDC computer screen for new assignments or activity and did not remember how long he was looking down at the screen before the crash.
Investigators said that Streicher did not have memory of seeing any traffic signals in the intersection and did not remember entering it.
Streicher was also traveling in the incorrect lane, the complaint said, traveling straight into the intersection, despite being in the right turn only lane.
"The evidence shows that the Defendant admitted to looking away from the road and also the evidence shows that the Defendant did not take any action despite 4 seconds of a yellow traffic signal, despite 11 seconds of a red traffic signal, despite a car traveling eastbound which was an indication that the Defendant did not have the right of way, and despite being in a right turn only lane when the Defendant intended to travel straight through the intersection," read the complaint.
No initial appearance date has been set yet, according to the district attorney.
For more information on supporting the family of Ceasar Stinson, follow the hashtags #JusticeForCeasar and #LongLiveKingCeasar.