Trial Date Set for Former Milwaukee Police Officer in Off-Duty Chokehold Case

MILWAUKEE — After more than three years of postponements and setbacks, the trial for a former Milwaukee police officer accused of an off-duty chokehold death is finally on the horizon.

In April 2020, prosecutors alleged that former officer Michael Mattioli applied a fatal chokehold to Joel Acevedo during a party at Mattioli's residence while he was off duty. Tragically, Acevedo passed away six days later.

12 News correspondent Hannah Hilyard inquired of Acevedo's father, Jose Acevedo, "Just to hear the words 'ready for trial' after 3 1/2 years, how does it feel?"

Jose Acevedo responded, "It's about time. This should have happened already three years ago."

The case encountered numerous delays, partly due to the sudden departure of Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Peterson. During a hearing in May 2023, a judge remarked, "He has essentially absconded from all of his responsibilities. It's not like quitting at McDonald's when you've got all these open cases, all these autopsies that have been done."

With a new medical examiner now assuming the role, the trial is scheduled to commence on November 6, nearly 1,300 days after Acevedo's tragic death.

Jose Acevedo expressed his persistent longing for justice, stating, "There has not been no peace or closure with this."

Body camera footage from responding officers may play a pivotal role in the upcoming trial. While Jose Acevedo confirmed having viewed the video, he refrained from divulging specifics but emphasized his desire for the truth to emerge.

The trial, set to commence on Monday, November 6, is anticipated to span five days, according to the presiding judge.