Fatal crash prompts legal battle: 'Deputies should set an example for the public'

MILWAUKEE -- A fatal crash has prompted a legal battle against a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy involved in the wreck.

Ceasar Stinson

Attorney Mark Thomsen said legal action taken this week by the family of Ceasar Stinson is about holding law enforcement accountable.

"Ceasar Stinson should be alive here today," Thomsen said.

Stinson died on Jan. 25 after a collision at 10th and State in Milwaukee. His vehicle overturned in the wreck. Stinson, a Milwaukee Public Schools lobbyist, died at the scene. Also involved in the crash was Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Streicher.

Fatal crash near 10th and State

Mark Thomsen

"It's my understanding he was on-duty, unmarked vehicle, ran a red light," Thomsen said.

Thomsen believes Streicher blew a red light and caused the wreck. The crash remains under investigation -- and so far, no criminal charges have been filed.

Streicher's attorney filed a civil lawsuit last week against Milwaukee County Sheriff's Earnell Lucas to block the release of Streicher's past disciplinary records. Lucas wants the made public.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas

"I hold my deputies to a high standard," Lucas said during a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 18.

Joel Streicher (Credit: Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office)

Streicher's attorney argues the release would cause "irreparable harm" to his client's reputation.

On behalf of Stinson's family, Thomsen filed on Monday a motion to intervene -- to urge a judge to make the records public. It is part of a wrongful death case Thomsen is building.

"Our deputies should set an example for the public. They shouldn't be the example of what's wrong," Thomsen said.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is still reviewing the case.

FOX6 News reached out for comment from the attorney representing Streicher but did not hear back.

Sheriff Lucas sites previous case laws are on his side to release disciplinary records in situations like this.