By Deneen Smith | Wisconsin Public Radio
Milwaukee Police released heavily redacted body camera video of the police encounter with an off-duty officer accused of killing a man during a party at his home in the city.
The department released the video to WISN 12 News this week. It shows police arriving at the home of off-duty officer Michael Mattioli in April 2020. Mattioli allegedly put Joel Acevedo in a choke hold when a fight broke out at a party at his home near 45th Street and Cleveland Avenue. Acevedo died of his injuries days later. Mattioli was later charged with first degree reckless homicide for the death.
Both Mattioli and Acevedo are blacked out in the video. But one of the arriving officers can be heard saying “officer, get off him.” Another officer can be heard saying “I’m making sure you don’t have your arm around his neck.”
A judge ruled in 2021 that the video could be released. Mattioli and his attorneys Craig Powell and Michael Hart argued at the time that pre-trial publicity has already been an issue and the release of the records would further interfere with court proceeding and his ability to receive a fair trial.
According to the criminal complaint, two officers who responded to a call at the home found Mattioli straddling an unresponsive Acevedo with Mattioli’s “full body above the waist of (Acevedo) and Mattioli’s upper body is wrapped around the head area of (Acevedo).”
During an interview with investigators, Mattioli said he held Acevedo down because he had punched his friend, according to the complaint.
Mattioli was a 13-year veteran of the department at the time of his arrest. He has since resigned. He is scheduled to go to trial Nov. 6.