Saturday, December 30, 2017

Red Cross In Milwaukee Accused Of Denying Service To Turner Family Who Are African-American

Video testimony posted on Facebook by local African-American community organizer alleging that the American Red Cross in Southeast Wisconsin Chapter had denied service to the Turner family after a three alarm fire engulfed their residence and destroyed everything.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

December 30, 2017

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - On Saturday, Tory Lowe, an African-American organizer in the Black community posted in his Facebook (FB) account a video alleging that the American Red Cross Southeast Wisconsin Chapter (ARCSWC) apparently denied service to the Latressa Turner family after their residence was engulfed on fire and destroyed everything they owned on December 28 in a three alarm fire. Lowe says that it was the same day that a ARCSWC policy was released to the public that ten Zip Codes in the City of Milwaukee will no longer receive on-site fire relief aid and assistance due to safety concerns of ARCSWC volunteers and workers. The Zip Code area affected is 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53209, 53210, 53215, 53216, 53218 and 53233, according to a new policy announcement by Patty Flowers, the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Southeast Wisconsin Chapter. The designated or redlined area that Flowers identified is located in the predominantly Black and Latino communities. Flowers told news media outlets that it was a safety concern, also to scale down in providing assistance, the staff and volunteers were tired and they were implementing the new policy in the mention area, which by just identifying the ten Zip Code area would definitely indicate a racially driven bias decision instead of including all areas in the State of Wisconsin in the policy. Victims of fire destruction of property and disasters in the inner city will now be provided a card by the Milwaukee Fire Department to call and make arrangements with a ARCSWC volunteer so, the volunteer can meet victims at the nearest police district station or go the ARCSWC headquarters location at the 2600 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee.
On December 28, the Turner's family residence caught fire and destroyed the home and everything they owned. Turner and her sister Latoya Lewis went to the 5th Milwaukee Police District Station and waited between one hour to several hours for  ARCSWC volunteer to showed up, which no one from the local Red Cross arrived to meet with them. So, the family went to the ARCSWC headquarters on Wisconsin Ave. and were denied service, according to testimony by the Turner. Turner has an 18-month-old child. Both Turner and Lewis say that the Red Cross denied them service due to the color of their skin and were treated unfairly, according to their testimony in the Lowe FB posted video. The person at the ARCSWC referred them to another location of a group or organization to seek help.
A GoFundme for the Turner family has been setup for people to donate. 

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