Milwaukee, Wisc. — Wisconsin Right Now reports that Khalil Coleman—the well-known leader of The Peoples Revolution in Milwaukee—who was arrested in Kentucky, is also accused of pressuring a juvenile to rob what they believed was a drug house. Coleman allegedly handed the juvenile a gun telling him to “go get that money,” according to court documents obtained exclusively by Wisconsin Right Now.
Khalil Coleman Charged with Unlawful Transaction with a Minor
In addition to his role as key organizer of Milwaukee’s most controversial Black Lives Matter protests/riots and involvement in the Milwaukee police chief’s demotion, Coleman, who has Gangster Disciples gang ties (he calls it Growth & Development), wrote on LinkedIn that he’s received multiple contracts from Milwaukee Public Schools and other educational and community entities to train students to reject violence.
But the complaint in Kentucky alleges he gave a Glock handgun to the juvenile and told him to commit the robbery.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky “uniform citation” alleges that Coleman, 34, of Milwaukee “had knowledge and participated in an armed robbery… in Elsmere Kentucky.” It alleges that Coleman “was named by a juvenile suspect that he had knowledge and participated in an armed robbery by providing a Glock handgun to the juvenile suspect and telling said juvenile to, ‘Go get that money.’”
The juvenile suspect “felt pressured to commit the robbery and pointed a loaded Glock pistol at the victim and stated, ‘We got business to talk about and to get in the house,’” the citation reads.
But it didn’t work. “The victim ran inside, shut the door and held it shut while calling 911,” says the citation. The citation against Coleman’s co-defendant Joshua Clarey, 24, of New Berlin, describes the same allegations but adds an accusation that Clarey “was sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle that was stopped for matching the description by the victim…firearms were located in vehicle. Above was the right front passenger and along his seat (police) located a small plastic baggy. Inside was an off white material believed to be heroin.”
Coleman has entered a not guilty plea and has a preliminary hearing coming up. He is innocent until proven guilty, like everyone in a court of law
Elsmere police Detective Eric Higgins told Wisconsin Right Now in an interview that police believe Coleman and his co-defendants were attempting to rob a drug house in the February 15, 2021, incident.
Trapped by a snowplow—after robbing the wrong drug house
“They went to the wrong house,” he said. Police are still trying to determine the original target, which would give them more information on motive, but he said that Coleman and Clarey aren’t talking to the police.
According to Higgins, the juvenile involved in the Kentucky incident is a 17-year-old white male from Indiana. He could not provide his name because he’s a minor. He doesn’t believe that Coleman and the juvenile are related. During the attempted heist, Coleman “was in the driver’s seat of the car,” Higgins said.
After the first robbery attempt, “they tried coming back to do a second attempt to do robbery, and they saw a marked (police) unit and tried to flee.” He said they “made it a couple blocks” until they were blocked in by a snowplow and were captured.
“It’s lucky no one got hurt,” said Higgins, who noted that police confiscated two guns and one had a “50-round drum,” in it, “extra capacity.” Higgins found it “concerning, obviously” that a juvenile was allegedly made the triggerman. He wasn’t sure why Coleman, Clarey and the juvenile were in Elsemre or Kentucky other than to allegedly “rob a drug house.” He said Elsmere is part of the greater Cincinnati area.
He said the Gangster Disciples gang has come up in discussions he’s had with law enforcement from other states in connection with the case, but he has no evidence of direct gang ties in this incident because police don’t know the original target yet.
Coleman is charged with robbery and unlawful transaction with a minor, both felonies. Clarey is accused of robbery, unlawful transaction with a minor, first-degree drug possession, and fugitive from another state, according to Kenton County, Kentucky, jail records.
Clarey is wanted on an October warrant out of Milwaukee County for possessing a firearm as a felon, habitual criminality repeater, and repeat firearm crimes. He’s also wanted for a felony case out of Sheboygan County. That case gave his address as West Allis. Clarey is accused of taking an auto without owner’s consent and bail jumping as a repeater. He has prior convictions in Wisconsin for marijuana possession, felony possession of methamphetamine, obstructing an officer, and felony possession of an electric weapon.
We obtained the criminal complaint involving the Milwaukee warrant against Clarey. You can read the details here.It says officers learned a wanted subject was at a location along S. 12th Street in Milwaukee. As soon as police arrived, people began running in and out of the residence, the complaint says. An officer found Clarey “hunched over with his hands near his groin area,” allegedly trying to conceal himself by the car. He was found with a Glock 43 9mm with an extended magazine.
Coleman’s Work With Milwaukee Public Schools
Coleman’s LinkedIn page says he’s currently an “educational consultant” under contract with Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center in Milwaukee, assisting students “in English Language Arts courses” and working with staff “to ensure better cultural practices and youth engagement activities.”
He says he is also currently an administrator with and is co-founder of the Safe Zone Initiative to implement “violence prevention, intervention and de-escalation practices citywide.”
He states that a group he founded, Changing Lives Through Literature, “has contracted with MPS Office of Communication and School Performance to administer services under Project AWARE working with Riverside University High School” to do things like peer mediation “to reduce violence.”
Coleman also says that he is cofounder of New School for Youth Empowerment, a “small MPS charter high school based on the premise that young people can and will become educated, active members of their community.”
He also claims on LinkedIn that “Milwaukee School of Engineering has contracted with Khalil Coleman… to develop student lead (sic) projects around social belief vs. social engineering.”
Coleman wrote that his Changing Lives Through Literature group also “has contracted with Seton Catholic Schools under Department of Justice’s School Safety Grants, to facilitate workshops” on violence prevention. He adds that the group also contracted with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Milwaukee and Milwaukee Promise Zones.
In 2015-2016, he wrote, “Riverside University High School has contracted with Khalil Coleman, Changing Lives through Literature (CLTL), to implement classes around violence prevention and create public service announcements.” He said he’s also worked with fifth graders and high school students in Milwaukee Public Schools. In 2015, he wrote, “CLTL was contracted with Milwaukee Public School LaFollette K8, to conduct a four hour staff professional development training, implementing cultural relevancy.”
We have a request into MPS for the value of the contracts and for comment.
Earl Arms, MPS spokesman, told us, “From my understanding, Mr. Coleman does not currently have any contract with Milwaukee Public Schools. The District will have no comment on the ongoing investigation at this time.”
Coleman is considered the key organizer of the largest Black Lives Matter protests and riots in Milwaukee, including, according to Wauwatosa, Wis. police reports, the melee at two officers’ private home last summer that escalated into a violent assault that included the discharging of a firearm by a Peoples Revolution member named Ronald Bell. Coleman was not arrested or charged in connection with that incident. It’s not clear why he was in Kentucky, but jail records say he remains incarcerated there as of February 19 despite a concerted social media and online campaign to raise money for his release through a cash app and, briefly, a GoFundMe page. Some supporters online are alleging that Coleman was framed by police and are calling for him to be “freed.”
But the Kentucky detective and police reports tell a very different story.
Coleman, who has largely enjoyed glowingly positive news coverage in Milwaukee despite his blatant ties to the Gangster Disciples gang (we wrote about that extensively here), was even at a Milwaukee press conference with a top alderman and then Fire and Police Commission Chair Steve DeVougas that helped lead to the demotion a few hours later of Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales. The Peoples Revolution group he helps lead has an agenda of defunding police and getting police chiefs fired.
Social Media Efforts to Raise Money After the Arrest Detailed
A GoFundMe page to raise bail and attorney fees for Coleman was started and has been deleted, but supporters are still raising money for him through a cash app.
Vaun Mayes, another BLM leader who himself is facing federal charges that allege he plotted to firebomb a police precinct, wrote on Facebook, “If anybody knows how police & feds can make situations seem like something it’s not, it’s me. We gotta get our brother Khalil Coleman out & back home. Them allegations too weird 4 me. Innocent til proven guilty. $Tatl74.”
He added, “Send all money towards Bail to cash app…”
Mayes continued, “Please label any donations as #FreeKhalil.”