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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Federal Judge Sets Civil Rights Trial For An Undocumented Immigrant Killed By Milwaukee Police Officer
By H. Nelson Goodson
January 26, 2010
Milwaukee -A federal judge decided to hear the case of a man killed by an off-duty Milwaukee police officer five years ago. On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan's docket listed Wilbert Javier Prado's trial case to begin on June 7, granting Prado's family to finally continue their federal civil case against the City of Milwaukee and involving the Milwaukee Police Department. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Prado's two young children and his estate, as the plaintiff's and names the city and Glover's estate as defendants. Prado's family claims that Glover as an officer used excessive deadly force as trained by the department.
Prado, 25, an undocumented immigrant was shot at 19 times, including being shot 8 times in the back and legs with a 45 Cal., while being chased through an alley by then Officer Alfonzo Glover, 35, on March 6, 2005. Glover also reloaded and fired the last two shots killing Prado while he layed face down on the ground. The homicide occurred in the South side of Milwaukee.
A Milwaukee County District Attorney inquest jury found that Glover's actions had been justified. Glover testified that Prado had followed him from work and began flashing his lights at him. Glover said he stopped near S. 9th St. and W. Ohio Ave. and identified himself as a police officer. At first, Glover told the inquest jury that he noticed that Prado was reaching for a weapon. But, Prado then sped away in his van almost hitting Glover. Officer Glover then took out his personal weapon and began shooting at Prado. Prado crashed his van while being hit several times by bullets from Glover. Prado fled through an alley injured, bleeding and frantically screaming numerous times, "Please don't kill me...please don't kill me." Some neighbors in the area reported hearing Prado pleading for mercy.
Glover had discharged his weapon a total of 19 times, and police never found a weapon on Prado or at the scene, according to the investigation.
But months later after local Latino media and members of the Hispanic community rallied and pressured former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann to open the investigation, McCann finally did. The independent investigation found evidence that a homicide had occurred and on May 2006, McCann filed first-degree intentional homicide charges against Glover, despite opposition from the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA).
In his 38 years as D.A., McCann had never charged an officer with a homicide. John Balcerzak, then president of the MPA called for McCann's resignation "due to irresponsible handling of the investigation of Officer Glover."
After being booked on homicide charges, Glover posted $25,000 bail, and went home. Glover then committed suicide at his South side residence the same day he was charged. No note was ever found, according to police.