The shooting death of a black Trump supporter in Milwaukee has state Republicans calling for a federal investigation.
Bernell Trammell, 60, a dreadlocked activist known for carrying handmade signs through the streets reading “Vote Donald Trump 2020,” and posting them on his storefront, was gunned down by an unknown assailant on his sidewalk Thursday afternoon, police said.
“Because of Trammell’s well-known political activism and the possibility that his murder could be politically motivated, I respectfully request that United States Attorney Matthew Krueger open an investigation,” said Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, late Friday.
“No American should fear for their personal safety because of where they live or their political affiliation,” Hitt added.
Krueger’s spokesman, Kenneth Gales, said he could not comment on Hitt’s request.
Trammell was a familiar figure in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, frequently pedaling a bicycle or walking the streets with signs proclaiming his eclectic religious or political thoughts.
“He had a lot of different views,” local writer Adebisi Agoro told The Post. “But it was his last view that made people be outrageous with him.”
The pro-Trump signage was stirring up angry posts on neighborhood Facebook pages, Agoro said. On Monday, a man followed Trammell around town holding a sign reading “Sike” — local slang for “not!” or “as if” — to counter it.
Trammell “didn’t have internet, he didn’t have a phone, he didn’t have a dime to his name,” Agoro said. “But he got his message out.”
A new GOP outreach office – opened this year to try to make inroads into the African-American electorate – is just blocks from the building where Trammell lived and was killed, Hitt said.
“This is personal,” he told The Post.
Hitt, a former Milwaukee prosecutor, turned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Friday, in the face of silence from the city’s police department.
“I know how these investigations work,” he said. “The lack of information is concerning. We don’t know any of the circumstances of how he was murdered.”
Police, who had no suspects in custody as of Friday, did not respond to requests for comment.
But the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention was aware of at least one public dispute over Trammell’s Trump signs, the unit’s director, Reggie Moore, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“He’s a black elder who didn’t deserve to die the way that he did,” Moore said.
On Thursday, hours before Trammell’s death, Agoro filmed an interview with him about his support for Trump.
“This is going to be a motivating factor for us as we organize in central Milwaukee and across Wisconsin,” Hitt said. “I think it will give folks in the black community who support the president’s message more resolve and more determination than ever.”
Culled from New York Post