By Tiffany Crouse
Homicide rates in Milwaukee have doubled in the last year, going from 36 homicides in the first six months of the year in 2014, to 74 homicides since the beginning of 2015. Many felt the effect of this violence this past weekend. Four Milwaukee residents were added to the total count of homicides in Milwaukee on Monday.
According to a June 29 report in the Journal Sentinel: The first of the deaths this past weekend was that of a 21-year-old man who was shot in his vehicle after an alleged drug deal.
The next was a 41-year-old man, Noble A. Walton. He was wounded in an alley on Saturday and later died from his injuries.
A 44-year old woman was wounded on Sunday when a gunshot from nearby her home injured her that night. She was taken to the hospital and died from her injuries.
The last of the four homicides this past week was that of a 35-year-old man. He was shot in the 2600 block of N. 44th St. Police have not identified him.
“Plain and simple: hopelessness. When you take a community that has no hope, and is undereducated, there is no employment, there is no hope for the future,” said Shawn Moore, a community organizer involved with Safe Zone and Black Love Matters, when discussing the root cause of the recent violence in Milwaukee. Moore believes that after Milwaukee went through its redistricting in 2011 many resources that the inner city had where divided up and given away. This put the people in the inner city in a difficult position.
“I asked one kid what he wanted to be… he told me he didn’t know, because he had never thought that far,” Moore said.
This cycle of violence is one that is ever growing in Milwaukee.
When kids grow up without parents, because family members may be incarcerated, they may grow up without that support and role models.
This can lead them to doing what they can to get by.
That might just be stealing because that is what they learned from the other people on the block, said Moore.
In a statement, Alderman Bob Donovan said that he knows, and the mayor knows that Milwaukee is not a safe city.
He said that police are fewer in numbers than when the mayor first took office, and that police are more concerned about social engineering than protecting the city.
“When it’s becoming routine for people to refer to their neighborhoods as ‘war zones’ – something is terribly wrong. This kind of lowest rung sentiment is garbage, but sadly it is becoming the norm,” said Donovan.
Groups like Safe Zone and Black Love Matters work to combat the violence in these neighborhoods, but there is a long road ahead.
“We need to demand better. As a community we can’t just keep sitting back on our porches, couches, watching life pass you by… It’s a process and it’s not going to happen overnight. Resources need to be funneled in.
There needs to be more black role models, more black business owners, more black home owners, and we own nothing, and we don’t have the opportunity to own anything,” said Moore.