A Democratic state lawmaker claims it was privilege that led Milwaukee police officers to quickly release him after he was arrested Tuesday night at a protest near Sherman Park. State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D) represents the 19th Assembly District and he joined protesters and community leaders for a protest near the scene of an officer involved fatal shooting. The suspect possessed a weapon and was turning to confront police when he was engaged by officers, the mid-August incident led to rioting in Milwaukee.
Brostoff told TMJ4 that he was with community faith leaders when he was arrested Tuesday night. “I was in the squad car. I heard people outside of the car say ‘he’s an elected official. They came in the car, took me out and confirmed I was an elected official,” a smiling Brostoff told the television station.
The lawmaker told WisPolitics, “It was the privilege of being elected more than anything” that led to his quick release from police custody. As to why he was arrested, Brostoff seemed mystified why law enforcement would target him for handing out chewing gum. According to WisPolitics, Brostoff claimed:
“I was just having a conversation with people, handing out extra spearmint gum to people. I think everyone enjoys a good chew. It helps break the ice, as they say.”
Brostoff says he was thrown to the ground by police and handcuffed before being released. The manhandling injured his wrist and, according to NY Daily News, the legislator was going to see a doctor about it.
Two more individuals were arrested Wednesday morning in the same vicinity as the Tuesday night protests according to a local media report.
In addition to serving as a state lawmaker, Brostoff and fellow Democratic Rep. David Bowen host a weekly radio show called “State Reppin'” for Milwaukee’s River West Radio. On Twitter, Brostoff has often commented on the Sherman Park situation.