August 31, 2020

Thomsen and Sulton File Lawsuit Against Milwaukee County Deputies for June Protest Arrest

Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs attorneys Mark Thomsen and William Sulton have filed a lawsuit against several Milwaukee County deputies on behalf of community activist Frank Nitty for actions violating the First Amendment during a June protest on the Hoan Bridge.

On June 2, 2020 Nitty was unlawfully attacked by Milwaukee County deputies while exercising his First Amendment right to peacefully assemble against racist policing and violence by law enforcement officers. Nitty, a black man, was singled out while white protesters were left alone.

This attack was recorded by other peaceful assemblers who watched in horror as he was threatened with death by a deputy pointing a firearm at point blank range. In addition to the firearm threat, Nitty was body slammed by a deputy and piled on by about half a dozen others, leaving him bleeding from his right elbow, hand, wrist and left arm.

“When I first watched the video of the deputies’ unlawful attack on Frank Nitty, I never imagined that it would take filing a lawsuit to get my County’s attention or make antiracist law enforcement a reality here,” said Mark Thomsen. “But as the young men on the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers have recently pointed out, elected officials continue to fail to make the necessary changes.”

Following the vicious attack, Nitty was unlawfully handcuffed, placed in the back of a squad car and taken to the hospital. After the hospital, he was taken to a police station where he was interrogated for simply exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right.

Frank Nitty is a community organizer, human rights activist and advocate for racial and economic justice. He began organizing recent protests in response to George Floyd’s murder and the similar experiences of law enforcement brutality and racial profiling in the City and County of Milwaukee.

Also included in the lawsuit is a section outlining anti-racism and anti-discrimination policies that would require deputies to wear body cameras. Nitty, Thomsen and Sulton insist that this policy change be immediately adopted by Milwaukee County to prevent further violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.

The Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs team is prepared to stand with Frank Nitty as he continues his fight for justice and equality in the courts. This compassionate group of civil rights attorneys brings the passion and dedication against all misconduct and are ready to battle until meaningful change occurs.

Read the full complaint here.