MILWAUKEE — The Fire and Police Commission is withdrawing its disciplinary hearing after the Milwaukee Police Department launched an internal review Wednesday into the killing of Joel Acevedo allegedly by MPD officer Michael Mattioli.
FPC said in a statement that it affirmed the police department's ability to conduct an internal investigation, as well as acting Chief of Police Michael Brunson's right to issue discipline to any offenders.
On Aug. 31 Mattioli's case advanced to trial after a preliminary hearing. However, the FPC will cancel the upcoming trial to allow MPD to complete its investigation and "render an appropriate disposition based on the facts of the case," MPD said in a statement Wednesday.
Mattioli is facing a homicide charge for the death of Joel Acevedo back in April. Mattioli reportedly held Acevedo on the ground in a choke hold during an argument. Acevedo died from his injuries a week later.
In addition to the charge against Mattioli, Acevedo's family filed a lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department, demanding body-cam video and the recording of the 911 call.
If convicted for first-degree reckless homicide, Mattioli could spend up to 60 years in prison.
“This is an important and welcomed development that provides consistency and integrity, while safeguarding both due process and appeal rights,” said FPC Executive Director Griselda Aldrete in a statement.
“Today’s development is a healthy step to ensure due process is protected and will move forward effectively, justice is served, and a strong relationship is rebuilt with the police department and the FPC," Aldrete said.
The FPC decided to take over the investigation into Mattioli on May 18, citing concerns over leadership in the police department at the time. The Chief of Police at that time, Alfonso Morales, has since been demoted.