Milwaukee prepares to celebrate King Holiday

Yet how do we address six homicides in ten days

Compiled by Courier Staff

This coming weekend Milwaukee will be in the midst of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebrations. There have been numerous events held annually throughout the city some dating back as far as 30 and 40 years. Schools will be closed, some banks, and government offices. Many businesses through the years have opted to commemorate Dr. King’s Holiday with a day of service.

Milwaukee has an additional challenge this year, because as we sit down and celebrate what this man and his life’s struggle stood for, our citizens are going to have to come together and figure out how we are going to correct some behavior that has become out of control. Many are expressing concern over the daily violence and deaths that have occurred since the beginning of 2012.

State Representaive Leon Young released a statement this week, expressing his frustration over the first ten days of 2012 in Milwaukee. Rep. Young is concerned that the new gun laws are contributing to the violence.

“The startling number of homicides to start the year must prompt elected officials to re-evaluate our approach to gun crimes,” said Rep. Young. “Allowing more citizens to carry weapons creates situations where arguments turn into homicide.”

Through January 10, there were six homicides in the city of Milwaukee, two of which were domestic in nature. Five of the six homicides were the result of gun crimes.

Alderman Joe Davis held a prayer vigil this past weekend for Eddie Ellis, a 16 year-old 11th grade student who was gunned down, and murdered.

According to media reports, Ellis’ murder stemmed from a Facebook fight that Ellis was caught in the middle of. Eddie Ellis was shot eight times in the chest during a fight outside an apartment building.

A vigil was held at the corner of 81st and W. Villard Ave. in support of Ellis’ family and friends.

Bus violence continues and it is time that a cooperative effort is made by law enforcement and the Milwaukee County Transit System to work together to solve this issue. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn were asked this week to come speak to the city’s public safety committee, along with other city officials. Chief Flynn committed his officers to continue patrolling the buses. Sheriff Clarke says that due to proposed cuts his hands are tied. The Sheriff is also finding himself at the center of several other conflicts relating to budget shortages and disputes with other officials including the County Executive.

As we celebrate Dr. King this weekend and into Monday, let’s think about the cooperative efforts that it took to work through civil rights. It was not Dr. King alone, it took thousands, and committment. We need to generate that same type of spirit. And some in our community are getting it, even some of our young people.

Young people are trying to come together as well through organizations such as ‘Stop the Violence Youth Summit. Peace for Change Alliance and Urban Grass Roots will present its ‘2012 Bridging the Gap Youth Summit’, “THE SOLUTION”, Stop the Violence Summit!!! Public Officals and Youth Leaders will explain how they plan to work to reduce crime for 2012.

Saturday January 28th at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center from 2 pm to 6 pm. This event should be embraced and supported by legislators and city leaders. This group points out that violence is not a color thing, it is not a Black or White issue, but it is a community issue.