Black man dies after being held by Milwaukee hotel guards

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details.

Police are investigating the death of Dvontaye Mitchell, a black man who died last month after being pushed to the ground by security guards at a Milwaukee hotel.

Mitchell’s death has been compared to the killing of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in 2020 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

Mitchell, 43, died June 30 at the Hyatt Regency after four security guards pinned him down on his stomach, media reported. Video footage showed Mitchell screaming for help as he lay on the ground, with guards pinning him down with their hands and knees.

According to police, Mitchell entered the hotel, caused a disturbance and fought with security guards as they escorted him out.

Mitchell’s family hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented Floyd’s family. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests against racial violence and police brutality.

It is unclear why Mitchell was at the hotel or what happened before guards pinned him down. The initial report from the Milwaukee County coroner said Mitchell was homeless, but his family told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that is not true.

Sharpton to deliver eulogy at funeral

The Rev. Al Sharpton, an activist and early leader who serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, is expected to deliver a eulogy at Mitchell’s funeral on Thursday. Sharpton said in a press release announcing his visit to Milwaukee that Mitchell’s mother said her son was suffering from a “mental health episode.”

The Republican National Convention begins July 15, just days after Mitchell’s service. Law enforcement is bracing for political protests around the convention arena in Wisconsin’s largest city.

A man in a striped suit and yellow tie stands on a stage while delivering a sermon to a church congregation.
The Reverend Al Sharpton, who spoke at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, in March 2020, will deliver a eulogy at Mitchell’s funeral later this week. (Butch Dill/The Associated Press)

Sharpton said Congressmen should be aware of Mitchell’s death.

“We cannot stand by and watch the murder of Dvontaye Mitchell be swept under the rug by the arrival of the RNC, which will confirm a candidate whose vision of justice is pure brute force,” Sharpton said, referring to former US President Donald Trump.

Law enforcement officials were still investigating Mitchell’s death Tuesday, the Journal Sentinel reported. Police responded to an Associated Press request for an update by sending an emailed statement saying an unidentified person had fought with security guards at the hotel on June 30 and was unresponsive when officers arrived.

The coroner’s office has said the preliminary cause of death was homicide, but the cause is still under investigation. As of Tuesday, no criminal charges had been filed.

A spokesman for Aimbridge Hospitality, which runs the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, told The Washington Post that the company extends its condolences to Mitchell’s family and supports the ongoing investigation.

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