A Milwaukee activist is now free to continue his work after having been released from jail following an arrest by the Milwaukee Police Department on what they said was burglary and criminal trespassing charges.
“I don’t know what their thought process was,” Vaun Mayes’ attorney, Robert LaBell told WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News on Wednesday. “But if the thought process involved trying to get Vaun Mayes to desist in representing the community, advocating for the proper things to do in respect to police misconduct, if that’s what their objective was, to dissuade him, they’re not going to be successful, and they weren’t.”
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the possibility of charges against Mayes, but none have yet been issued.
LaBell said Mayes was attempting to stop the incitement of unrest at the home after numerous police investigations into missing teenagers and reports of human trafficking there. MPD said there had not been any evidence of such trafficking.
“His effort was to attempt to calm down the community and do the right thing,” said Labell.
LaBell is questioning whether MPD arrested Mayes in order to stop his community activism.
“I can’t tell you definitively whether that’s really what the objective was, but I can tell you circumstances of his apprehension did not, in any way, shape or form pass the smell test,” LaBell told Mercure.
“He was arrested without a warrant, surrounded by multiple members of the Milwaukee Police Department without any notice.”