MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) released two edited videos on Friday of the in-custody death of Keishon Thomas, as well as the District 5 lobby shooting.
The first incident (YouTube link) happened on Feb. 23. Thomas was pulled over by police near 22nd and Capitol for a traffic violation around 1:55 a.m. There was a warrant for him tied to other traffic violations, so he was arrested and taken to District 5.
Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said drugs were also recovered. In the officer's body camera video, Thomas is heard saying, "I ate the little, the little smoke I had."
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District 5 bookers conducted multiple cell checks, but shortly before 6 p.m., Thomas was found unresponsive. Despite life-saving measures, Thomas was pronounced dead, police said.
Two days later on Feb. 25, Thomas' friend, 23-year-old Darreon Parker-Bell, went into the District 5 lobby and opened fire, according to video released by police Friday (YouTube link).
Surveillance video shows the moment when Parker-Bell pulled out a handgun and fired one round at the ground before firing another shot at an officer. A third shot was fired towards the counter.
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Surveillance video then shows an officer fire back at Parker-Bell, who then fled the scene.
Officers followed Parker-Bell to the 2900 block of N 6th Street, where multiple officers fired and hit him several times, according to police.
The 23-year-old Milwaukee man was transported to the hospital with non fatal injuries. No one else was injured during the incident. The firearm was recovered.
After two weeks in the hospital, Parker-Bell was moved to the Milwaukee County Jail.
He is facing one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon in addition to seven counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety following the Feb. 25 incident.
Thomas’ family is asking for the full video to be released. They say they’re not okay with the 17-minute of video that was released today.— Ubah Ali (@UbahDAli) April 8, 2022
- They are demanding full transparency https://t.co/LW7mXlSduZ
The family and supporters of Keishon Thomas held a press conference outside District 5 on Friday. They called for police release the full, unedited videos showing the time he spent in jail.
Thomas' family say the most painful thing for them is watching nearly 20 minutes of video and still not knowing what happened
They say the video released Friday only left them with more questions, including why he wasn't taken to the hospital.
Jennifer Garcia is Keishon Thomas' cousin and says it's been a tough couple of months for the family
Garcia said it only got worse after seeing a 17-minute video that's slightly different from what was released today.
The video family saw differs from what was shown to the public in two ways.
It shows what appears to be an officer observing Thomas' cell and shows Thomas' body removed from that cell on a sheet.
The family asked for that last part to be kept from the public.
But, they want more details on how many times officers checked on Thomas' health.
"Not being able to see how many times he was checked on. How many cell checks there were," Garcia said.
TMJ4 asked Garcia what the family of Thomas demands from Milwaukee Police Department. "Everything that involves Keishon and the time he was at the police department," Garcia stated.
The family also want answers on why Thomas was not taken to the hospital after officers knew he swallowed drugs.
"When the question is asked are you doing ok, and you say no I feel bad, I feel bad. I think that should have been enough," Garcia said. "Once they knew he took something I think that should have been the moment."
Ultimately, Garcia said the family must learn to live in a world without him in it.
"The most important thing is that this could have been prevented," Garcia stated.
While the family of Thomas waits for more information, they have hired a lawyer. Notable Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump has taken on their case.
Watch the press conference here: