Bernell Trammell, 60, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Thursday in the middle of the day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He was shot to death in front of his business, eXpressions Journal, which was covered in signs including those showing his support for President Donald Trump. He often held up his signs outside and walked around with them. He spent the past few weeks advocating for Trump’s re-election both in his neighborhood and in front of City Hall in downtown Milwaukee, talking with people who would listen.
“It is tragic to learn of the senseless murder of #BernellTrammell & I offer my sincere condolences to his family & friends….No American should fear for their personal safety because of where they live or their political affiliation.” @AndrewHittGOP https://t.co/MPgL6k2koD pic.twitter.com/7UVVbfvfL0
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) July 25, 2020
Police are investigating if politics played a role in his shooting. According to Reggie Moore, director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, he had recently intervened between Trammell and a young man over a Trump sign he was carrying.
He was also shot near the spot where he’d just given an interview about his support for the president about three hours before that can be seen here.
They do not know yet if politics factored into it but they don’t have a lot of information yet and they aren’t discounting his GOP links.
According to the Daily Mail, members of the community described Trammell as a kind and loving man who wouldn’t hurt anyone, who was a “community figure” who was known for his positions and signs.
“He was selfless,” said Wisdom Prometheus Grey, an artist and a longtime friend of Trammell’s.
A 21-year-old woman named Janette, who asked that her last name not be used, said Trammell supported her after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The two would walk together, talking about religion and philosophy. Those walks, Janette said, helped her develop strength and balance despite her medical condition.
Patricia Holland saw Tammell him shortly before his death, “He was a happy person. He always talked to everybody that came by basically, say hi and speak to them.”
“He’s a Black elder who didn’t deserve to die the way that he did,” Moore said.
He added that the way Trammell was killed, “in front of his home and in front of his shop in broad daylight, is extremely troubling.”
Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, called for federal prosecutors to investigate the “senseless” killing of Trammell.
“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 into this heinous crime,” Hitt said in a statement issued late Friday. “No American should fear for their personal safety because of where they live or their political affiliation.”
Now we don’t know yet if in fact it was because of his Trump support but it seems quite possible given the facts and the radical chaos being pushed right now. It’s not hard to see someone thinking he’s justified because his sign or opinion was somehow “offensive.”