MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Sunday, March 19th addressed the officer-involved shooting that happened in Milwaukee on Thursday evening, March 16th. 32-year-old Jermaine Claybrooks was killed near 19th and Stark.
Mayor Barrett on Sunday said this is the first officer-involved shooting to be investigated by the Milwaukee County Suburban Investigations Team.
State law in Wisconsin requires officer-involved deaths to be investigated by an outside agency. Usually in these cases, that outside agency is the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation.
“I had spoken to representatives from the police department within minutes of the shooting on Thursday evening. I spoke with Chief Flynn later that evening and several times since then. Under state law, what happens after an officer-involved shooting is there's an outside investigation that's commenced – formerly by the state DOJ. This is the first case in which we are relying on suburban police departments to do the investigation. The reason for the change was we felt it took unnecessary time for representatives from the state DOJ to get here. That's not a criticism -- it’s a reality in terms of geography. It made more sense for adjacent jurisdictions to be the ones who would be the first ones to respond. When I asked Chief Flynn about this on Friday, following the designation of those agencies, what I learned was because it is now in the hands of those outside jurisdictions to do investigation, MPD is deferring to them. I have no additional news since that decision was made. We know there were officers from different jurisdictions that were there. The individual, from what I've been told, had drawn a gun. We're going to find out more about that as time goes on. In my understanding it’s not just one department (investigating this). What you’re going to have is professionals in those departments. I’ll speak very, very strongly for the professionalism of police departments throughout metropolitan area – very, very well trained professionals in all of our police departments," Mayor Barrett said.
Claybrooks' family spoke out on Friday.
"The police is doing it to cover up their actions. He was not a monster. Yeah, he was a drug dealer, but if you check his record, he has no violent crimes," said Joan McCants, Claybrooks' mother.
Milwaukee police have said Claybrooks was the focus of a drug investigation when undercover officers tried to arrest him on Thursday evening. A witness said a police SUV bumped Claybrooks' car, and Claybrooks' car ran into a tree and began smoking, the tires still spinning.
In video recorded by a neighbor, police commands can be heard, including: "Drop whatever weapon you have and [unintelligible] with your hands up!"
"What they are saying is, 'Get out of the vehicle. Turn the car off. Get out of the vehicle. Surrender yourself. Come out,'" said Auntrae Boyd.
Boyd said he saw what happened from his porch.
"As he was attempting to break the passenger window, the other officers from the driver's side were approaching and somebody hollered out 'gun.' Once somebody hollered out 'gun,' all the other officers retreated backwards. Then you heard a small two pops -- a pop and a pop," said Boyd.
Boyd said what happened next was disturbing to him.
"Then it sounded like machine gun fire hitting the car. They lit that car up," said Boyd.
"Shots were fired. We will not know who shot how many bullets until the firearms are examined," said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Thursday night.
"Jermaine was on his way to start his own production studio, his company to help out his family. He was all about family and his children," said McCants.
FOX6 News checked Claybrooks' record, which includes drug charges, a restraining order and traffic violations.
Police say the investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing.