Jamel Barnes, charged after officer-involved shooting, wants to represent himself in trial

Jamel Barnes

MILWAUKEE — Jamel Barnes, a man charged in the wake of an officer-involved shooting near 21st and Townsend in Milwaukee, wants to represent himself in court.

Barnes was told by a public defender that he qualifies for public representation in the case, but on Tuesday, Aug. 27, he told that public defender that he instead wants to represent himself. In court, the commissioner told Barnes he does not have the power to grant that request — that the judge hearing his case would have to determine whether Barnes is competent to handle his own representation.

Jamel Barnes

Barnes, 29, faces the following charges:

  • Intentionally point firearm — law enforcement officer, etc., use of a dangerous weapon
  • Felony bail jumping — four counts
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Possession with intent to deliver controlled substance (cocaine), greater than five to 15 grams, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of narcotic drugs

Officer-involved shooting near 21st and Townsend, Milwaukee

According to a criminal complaint, on Aug. 14, officers on patrol near 27th and Townsend received a ShotSpotter notification near 21st and Townsend. As officers were approaching a home in that area, a man, later identified as Barnes, appeared from the yard, and the officers saw that he was armed. An officer shouted to him to, “Drop the gun,” which was at the man’s right side, in his right hand. An officer believed it was partially in the man’s front pocket or waistband. The man then fled on foot, heading southbound on 21st Street, ignoring the commands of officers. Officers chased him, with one officer yelling at him to, “Drop the gun.” As the man got to the top of a hill, he turned toward the officers, pointing a pistol in their direction. An officer fired two gunshots at the man, followed by two more gunshots. A purple handgun was found on the ground near the man, and medical attention was secured.

Officer-involved shooting near 21st and Townsend, Milwaukee

The complaint noted a spent casing was located in the area of the initial ShotSpotter alert near 21st and Townsend. The purple firearm was compared with that casing, and it was consistent with the casing.

Tuesday’s brief hearing was adjourned, with Barnes due back in court on Sept. 5.

Jamel Barnes

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