MILWAUKEE (WTMJ/CNN) - As police in Milwaukee search for the person responsible for fatally shooting a Black Trump supporter outside of his business, officials say the community needs to know if the crime was politically motivated.
Bernell ‘Ras’ Trammell, 59, was often seen wielding large, handwritten signs with his personal beliefs in big, bold letters. These signs supported George Floyd, police reform and President Donald Trump. He ran “Expressions Journal,” a small publication where he created his signs and publishings.
Neighbors say Trammell was sitting in a lawn chair outside the business July 23 when he was fatally shot in broad daylight. On Saturday, his friends gathered to create a memorial.
“He had a right to have his voice, and he was so strong to do it alone,” said Pia Lombardi, a friend of more than 20 years. “I would hope that people think that this is a senseless murder and a good man died here for no reason. We lost a man who cared about people, even if they were different than him.”
Police are looking for a suspect in the shooting, described as a man believed to be in his 30s. He was last seen riding a black bicycle while wearing a white and red baseball cap, a black mask and a black and red long sleeve shirt.
There is not a known motive for the shooting at this point.
Officials, including Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Andrew Hitt, the chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, expressed the need for justice for Trammell’s family in the days following his death. Hitt said in a statement that the community also needs to know if the shooting was politically motivated.
Anyone with information about the shooting or suspect is asked to contact police.