Politics

Bernell Trammell: Black Trump Supporter Shot To Death In Milwaukee

By

Bernell Trammell, a well-known Black supporter of Donald Trump who was a community fixture known for his publishing company and long conversations on religion and politics, often delivered from street corners while holding pro Trump and other signs, was shot to death in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Trammell, 60, was gunned down on July 23 near the very spot where he gave a video interview a few hours before explaining why he supported Trump. Milwaukee police are seeking what they described as “unknown suspects.” The motive is not clear, including whether the slaying was tied into Trammell’s political beliefs or Trump support. Some news outlets gave the victim’s name as Bernell Tremmell, but he goes by Trammell on social media.

Kevan Penvose wrote on Facebook that Trammell “was a man with whom I hardly ever agreed about anything he wrote on his signs, but also, as a Rasta street preacher, he was one of the people that make my neighborhood so uniquely wonderful. Around 12:30 this afternoon I heard gunshots nearby as I was working at my dining room table. Soon after, I was reading reports on social media of a shooting around the block, at the location of this one-of-a-kind storefront that I’ve walked by a million times… Peace and light, Ras Bernell.”

Armstrong Ramsone (the pen name of local artist and writer Adebisi Agoro) wrote on the site The God Degree that he recorded video interviews with Trammell just hours before his death. “Earlier today he had mentioned to me ‘you wouldn’t guess the amount of hate I received from Black people,’” he wrote. Agoro became curious about Trammell’s political beliefs after seeing him at a bus stop and decided to ask “about what I saw on Facebook and why he was holding the Trump sign?” Agoro recorded videos of an interview he conducted that day in which Trammell, clutching a pro Trump sign, explains his political beliefs. You can see those videos here.

“I have encouraged Afro-Americans from all walks of life and culture here in Wisconsin and particularly here in Milwaukee to vote Donald Trump for this year. Trump 2020. I believe Trump is the sign of the times,” Trammell says in one of the videos, recorded outside his publishing business near the very spot where he would be shot a few hours later. He is standing in front of a “Wisconsin Vote Donald Trump” sign in that video.

“No less than two hours after I left from filming Ras Bernell I had heard word from Facebook that the someone in the area that Ras Bernell stays in had been shot,” Ransome wrote on The God Degree. “To my surprise it was Ras Bernell. The moment I had read the news I was attempting to upload the above videos used in this post onto my laptop for use…He was murdered right outside of his shop where we were just speaking. His home. Seemingly these were his last words.”

The article is headlined “WHO SHOT THE RAS? Did Ras Bernell’s support for Donald Trump lead to his untimely death?” So far, the answer to that remains unknown. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said he already had a Black Lives Matter sign, although it was not as prominently displayed outside.

Johnny Schaeffer, 45, knew Trammell for almost his entire life because his mother once dated him, and they stayed in touch over the years. “I’m devastated,” he told Heavy in a phone interview.

“I think that he was definitely misjudged,” Schaeffer said. “He had his views, you know. People were sometimes surprised not only by his thoughts but how he said it. He was bold, a big, taller man, and when he talked, people listened.”

Schaeffer described Trammell as “a great guy. He had his views, he had his ways, and he was set in them. He wanted everybody to believe and know what he believed, what he wanted to say.” Trammell had a newspaper and “people writing him from all over,” Schaeffer said, adding that Trammell was the oldest person on his block.

As for his Trump support, Schaeffer added: “Yeah his Donald Trump beliefs. He was (a a Trump supporter). He kind of expressed it in a way of he knows what Trump is doing for all colors. Bernell was that type. He took the overall thought of it.”

“He was a kind man,” Schaeffer added. “He was a gentle guy. Some people didn’t like what he said, but they respected him for the most part, I thought. I’d go down there, people would always say, ‘Bernell, hey.’ He knew everybody in the neighborhood. I am shocked right now.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Reggie Moore, Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention director, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had “intervened in a dispute between Trammel and a young man” that he thought was “related to a Trump sign that Trammell was carrying.”

Moore told the newspaper that Trammell was “a Black elder who didn’t deserve to die the way that he did.” Heavy has reached out to Moore for more information on the encounter and Trammell’s importance to the community. It’s not clear whether that encounter had anything to do with Trammell’s death, though, because police aren’t saying anything about motive or suspects.

Police say the shooting unfolded on a Thursday afternoon in broad daylight.

“Milwaukee Police are investigating a shooting that occurred on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at approximately 12:31 p.m., on the 900 block of E. Wright Street,” police wrote in a news release.

“The victim, a 60-year-old man from Milwaukee sustained fatal injuries. The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation. Milwaukee Police continues to seek unknown suspects. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.”

Heavy.com has reached out to MPD’s press office for more details, especially on potential motive…. (Read more)

Comments are closed.