Conservatives, liberals see common enemy in Milwaukee County DA Chisholm


By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – Finding a common enemy, conservatives and liberals will talk tonight about the possibility of a campaign to recall Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, multiple sources tell Wisconsin Reporter.

“This is an interesting confluence of different groups interested in getting recall signatures,” the source said.

“The people on the right are angry about the ongoing, forever John Doe investigations (targeting conservatives), and the people on the left, in this case the black community, are angry about the Corey Stingley case.

PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1? Conservatives and liberals in Milwaukee reportedly are looking at working together in a possible recall campaign against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. The Democrat DA is under fire from the right and the left for his prosecutions of conservatives and his decision not to prosecute a case involving the controversial death of 16-year-old Corey Stingley.

Wisconsin Reporter first reported Monday that community organizers are furious that Chisholm failed to press charges against three men involved in the asphyxiation death of 16-year-old Corey Stingley.

On the right, activists are frustrated by the latest secret John Doe probe into conservative political organizations. That investigation, launched in August 2012 by the office of Chisholm, a Democrat, has been criticized by conservatives as a taxpayer-funded partisan witch-hunt.

The source familiar with tonight’s meeting said Milwaukee County citizens and community organizers will learn about the process and the “mechanics of recall” and “decide when and if at all they are going to begin.”

Tory Lowe, who has organized rallies in the Milwaukee region, including a January protest outside Chisholm’s office, says the community will wait for an upcoming question-and-answer session with Chisholm before deciding what to do next.

“We’re not going to let this fall off,” Lowe told Wisconsin Reporter. “We have to let everyone know this won’t be tolerated. There are several ways to go about it. A recall is one of the ways. We are also waiting for the feds to make their decision.”

Craig Stingley, the father of the 16-year-old honor student who died after being wrestled to the ground and restrained in a West Allis store in December 2012, has asked for an investigation from the federal Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle said in a statement Jan. 18 that the DOJ would “consider the matter” but needed more information from the family about the case before deciding how to proceed.

Santelle’s office declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

Chisholm, who said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the men, previously told Fox 6 News in Milwaukee he is “standing by that decision and accept(ing) any criticism that comes with it.”

In December 2012, a store clerk caught Corey Stingley trying to steal alcohol. Footage from the store shows Stingley leave his backpack and the alcohol with a store clerk, grab his debit card from behind the counter and rush toward the store’s exit. Three men grabbed Stingley and wrestled him to the ground. By the time police arrived nearly 10 minutes later, Stingley reportedly was already dead.

Lowe said the case is just the latest example of Milwaukee’s criminal justice system failing black victims.

Contact M.D. Kittle at

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