MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — A community advocate is seeking justice for a former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher she says was wrongfully and forcefully arrested outside MPS headquarters.
The teacher says for weeks, she’d been trying to retrieve her pay stubs. Frustrated, she came straight to MPS, but wasn’t allowed in.
Police arrived later, and that’s when she took to Facebook Live as much as she could.
“MPS is giving me a no trespassing school office — for what?” said Shawnda Bailey, talking to two officers outside MPS headquarters.
In an eight-minute exchange, one officer hands her a letter from MPS that claims the special ed teacher had resigned, but she says she never did.
“He presents this document to me and I’m floored,” Bailey said. “I said ‘I’m trespassing? How am I trespassing by asking for my check stubs? This is effective when? What? How?'”
Bailey says she just wanted her check stubs, and while she was waiting to talk to the Human Resources department, another teacher, who is white walked up — and she got her paycheck.
“This is systemic discrimination that has been occurring in Milwaukee Public Schools for years, and I have been trying to bring attention to it for a long time,” said community advocate Beverly Hamilton-Williams.
Adding insult to injury, not only did Bailey not get what she came for, she says police got aggressive.
“Once I said let me call my attorney, he got this look on his face and he started coming towards me,” Bailey said. “One pulled me down by my ponytail. I fall to my knees, hit my head on the ground, they put their knees in my back, start punching me.”
A civil rights complaint has been filed against MPS and against Milwaukee police for excessive force.
“The police officers, instead of using de-escalation strategies, they grab her and throw her to the ground. When they tell her she’s trespassing, she goes ‘okay, I’m gonna go to my car,’ and ‘no you’re not, it’s too late.’ Too late?”
Beverly Hamilton-Williams is on a mission to make things right, staging a handful of protests this month against MPS and MPD.
She’s also sent letters to Acting Chief Norman and the Milwaukee Common Council.
“This officer, he needs to be suspended, investigated and possibly fired,” she said.
There is a gofundme to help this former MPS special education teacher.
We reached out to MPD and MPS.
MPD said they can’t comment on an open investigation.
MPS said they can’t comment on legal matters.