Breier, Harold A.

In Milwaukee, Police Chief Harold Breier remained adamantly opposed to the civil rights movement which emerged in the city during the 1960s. After the Milwaukee NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Youth Council’s 1966 Eagles Club protests, in the suburb of Wauwatosa, Breier began a constant surveillance of the group, as well as its advisor, Father James Groppi. The policemen assigned to the watches would often harass Youth Council members and jail them for offenses as minor as littering or jaywalking. During the open housing marches, Breier ordered all police officers assigned to protect the Youth Council to not wear their police badges so that they could not be identified if they were committing acts of police brutality.

Breier remained Milwaukee’s chief of police for twenty years. He retired in 1984 at the age of 72. In August 1998, Breier was admitted to a Brookfield, Wisconsin, hospital for a broken hip. A few days later, he suffered congestive heart failure and died on September 9, 1998 at age 87. EM