On May 31, 2012, 13-year-old Darius Simmons died when his neighbor, John H. Spooner, shot him in front of his house. Mr. Spooner shot Darius, for some reason believing that Darius had stolen his property. Darius' mother witnessed this tragedy. When Milwaukee Police Department ("MPD") officers arrived on the scene to investigate, they kept Darius' mother in the back of an MPD squad car for more than 90 minutes, as Darius lay dying in the street, and as he was later taken to the hospital. Community members have expressed outrage that the MPD did not allow Darius' mother to be with her son during the last minutes of his life. The MPD defended their actions, claiming that the homicide investigation trumped any concerns over showing compassion to Darius' mother.
In response to the community's concern over this incident, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission ("FPC") conducted a review of the MPD's handling of the investigation. While the FPC determined that the MPD officers involved did not technically violate any rules or procedures, the FPC recommended that the MPD develop new procedures and training so that police officers are more sensitive to how their actions may be viewed by the community. The MPD also acknowledged that it could have been more sensitive to Darius' mother during the homicide investigation. Read the entire fpc report.
As previously reported on this website SKS Files Suit Against Man Who Shot 13-Year-Old Boy, the Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent Darius Simmons' mother in a wrongful death lawsuit against Mr. Spooner. We will work hard to obtain justice and accountability for this tragic incident.
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