Community activist Vaun Mayes released from Milwaukee Co. Jail, case being reviewed

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department on Tuesday, June 30, presented to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office charges against community activist Vaun Mayes following his arrest on Monday.

Those charges were for burglary as party to a crime and criminal trespass to dwelling, in connection with civil unrest near 40th Street and Lloyd Street on June 23. The district attorney decided to pend the case for additional review, and Mayes was released from the Milwaukee County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

"There's a bunch of different people out here from a bunch of different walks of life," said Mayes upon his release. "I'm seeing my family out here."

The 33-year-old captured a portion of his arrest on camera Monday afternoon.

"This is just a continuation of what we've seen," said Mayes. "Everybody knows about my legal situation, my federal trial from 2016."

Protesters gathered outside the Milwaukee County Jail after Mayes' arrest.

"We are gonna be here, we are gonna be heard, until justice is served and he is free -- and that felony is dropped," said Gabi Taylor, protester.

Even after Mayes left the jail, protesters remained, in what some said was their way to protest injustices they're seeing in the community.

"I am 63 years old and here we are still," said Yolanda Lassiter, protester. "I am proud of these young people that are standing up and fighting the differences we have today."

Vaun Mayes

Vaun Mayes released from jail

Some of those protesting his arrest said they believe Mayes was taken into custody in an effort to silence their movement. Police said otherwise, telling FOX6 Mayes was arrested in connection with his alleged role in criminal activity near 40th and Lloyd. On June 23, three non-fatal shootings unfolded there, and a house and vehicle were set on fire stemming from an investigation into two missing girls.

FOX6's cameras captured video of Mayes walking up the steps at the home.

Community activist Frank Nitty said while Mayes was there last week—he believes he was trying to help.

"He's what they call a violence interrupter. Governor Evers is talking about putting a million dollars toward violence interrupters. Vaun is a violence interrupter, an individual that stands between police and citizens to try to dissolve situations. So he was interrupting violence like he was supposed to, and they're trying to charge him with stopping people -- trying to stop people from doing stuff," said Frank Nitty.

"When he got over there it was already volatile," said Gabi Taylor. "Vaun did what he does best. He did what he could do."

FOX6 News asked Mayes about the allegations against him upon his release from jail Tuesday afternoon.

"No, my attorney will be releasing some information," said Mayes. "We don't want to speculate. I have my own opinions. A lot of us know what we know and what we think. My attorney is looking into it, and he would like to reserve that for him to do."

Mayes' attorney, Robert LeBell, said he's glad Mayes was released Tuesday but said it should've happened Monday. He said the circumstances of the arrest and allegations are highly suspect, and they plan to vigorously fight the charges.

Vaun Mayes released from jail

In regard to the civil unrest near 40th and Lloyd, per the initial investigation, police said on Monday, June 22, and on Tuesday, June 23, officers searched the residence later set on fire multiple times -- looking for the two missing teenage girls. The teenagers were not located at the residence. A news release from MPD Monday said once the teenagers were located, they were interviewed by police. Both teenagers denied going to or being at the residence, and denied meeting or knowing anyone who lived at that residence. Police said no information has been provided to MPD to suggest that the teenagers were at the residence, or that any foul play occurred at that location.

Mayes faces separate pending federal charges -- accused of plotting to firebomb the Milwaukee Police Department's District 7 station during the 2016 Sherman Park riots.

As for the unrest near 40th and Lloyd, police said Monday several arrests have been made in connection to these incidents. However, Milwaukee police continue to seek others and released video Tuesday showing those wanted individuals.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident please call Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360, or to receive a cash reward please call Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.