Wisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter

Wisconsin conservatives are questioning the mysterious shooting death of a Black Trump supporter in Milwaukee last week, speculating he was killed because of his outspoken support for the president. 

According to The Associated Press, 60-year-old Rastafarian Bernell Trammell, known in his neighborhood as "The Ras," was shot and killed outside his office in broad daylight July 23, and police have struggled to identify a suspect or a motive, except for a man spotted on a bicycle in a surveillance video. 

The AP reports that Trammell was a supporter of Black Lives Matter and multiple liberal leaders but also vocally backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE. He was known as a peaceful and spiritual man and ran his own small publication focused on political news.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lack of information in the case has prompted prominent Republicans to demand justice for Trammell and speak out against Democrats who they claim are not paying enough attention to the slaying.

“Can you imagine what Democrats and media (often hard to distinguish between the two) would be saying if he was holding signs for Biden?!?” former Republican Gov. Scott Walker tweeted earlier this week, linking to a report in which a man who interviewed Trammell on the day of his death suggests the shooting was based on his support of Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonThis week: Supreme Court fight over Ginsburg's seat upends Congress's agenda GOP set to release controversial Biden report Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate MORE (R-Wis.) also tweeted his condolences and called for justice.

And Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt has reportedly called for a federal investigation into the murder because it "could be politically motivated."

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the AP, Gerard Randall, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party’s African American Council, spoke out against the death saying it would have gotten more attention from the left if Trammell weren't a Trump supporter.

“I have no doubt that were Mr. Trammell advocating support for Planned Parenthood, Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE or the American Civil Liberties Union, there would be a thunderous clamor for justice from the political left,” Randall said in a statement.

However, state Sen. Lena Taylor, a Black Democrat running for mayor of Milwaukee with the support of Trammell, is cautioning against assuming his death is political. In a comment to the AP, she said it was "beyond disrespectful to his life to make this about Democrat and Republican."
 
The mystery surrounding Trammell's shooting comes as the killing of Black Americans, both by civilians and police, has drawn nationwide attention after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. 
 
Since his death more than two months ago, there have been daily protests and calls to end racism and police brutality in the U.S. But calls for reform have sparked division between Democrats and Republicans who are split over specific policy changes.