Partner Mark Thomsen and attorney Melissa Prost of Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs Lawyers filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against Milwaukee County and former Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy Joel Striecher for the high-speed collision that claimed the life of community activist Ceasar Stinson.
On January 25, 2020, Streicher was on duty traveling northbound on North 10th street in a sheriff’s SUV when he ran a red light and struck Stinson, who was traveling westbound with the right-of-way on West State Street. Streicher was incorrectly driving in a right turn lane and his brake lights never came on prior to impact.
The impact of the crash caused Stinson’s vehicle to rotate 180 degrees and roll onto the driver’s side. The Milwaukee Fire Department declared Stinson deceased at the scene.
In May of 2020, Streicher was charged with a felony and pled guilty. He was sentenced to six months in jail. However, it recently came to light that Streicher was fitted for a GPS monitor and placed on the Electronic Monitoring Program at home.
Stinson’s surviving family members, including his wife Chipo and daughter Cearra, were under the impression that Streicher would serve his sentence in custody.
Attorney Thomsen seeks relief for Chipo and Cearra Stinson for the reckless actions of Streicher as a violation of Ceasar’s due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and for wrongful death, punitive damages and loss of companionship.
Under Section 1983, an individual has the right to sue state government employees and others acting “under color of state law” for civil rights violations. It is clearly established that when a law enforcement officer engages in criminal conduct which results in bodily injury or death, the plaintiff’s right of recovery is governed by federal law.
“I am honored to have been able to accompany Chipo and Cearra through the criminal justice system to get Streicher convicted, and it is now time to obtain full civil justice for the Ceasar Stinson family,” said Mark Thomsen.
Read the full lawsuit here.
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