Through the homes, the bullets exploded like fireworks traveling like lightening, killing whatever future was imagined for the innocent children inside.
5-year-old Laylah Petersen was sitting on her grandfather’s lap in 2014, when two people approached the house and began firing. A bullet pierced a wall – striking Laylah in the head, killing her.
In that same year, two days after Christmas, Bill Thao was playing on the floor of his living room, when bullets rang into Thao’s duplex. Police said, the shooters went to the wrong house to settle a debt that stemmed from an earlier argument.
For these two families, a piece of justice has been served through the criminal justice system, as suspects in both incidents have been charged with their crimes.
We cannot ignore the fact that the direct consequences of gunshots ended when these two children took their last breaths. And the full force and many indirect consequences are still reverberating throughout their families and in various communities in Milwaukee. From 2014 to 2015, Milwaukee saw an increase in homicides by 69%, according to a 2015 report by the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission. 2015 was a very deadly year for Milwaukee. There were 145 homicides and 633 non-fatal shootings.
Compared to this same time last year, Milwaukee homicides are down by 29%. And in the decade since Chisholm has been in office, we’ve partnered on a number of topics, especially as a champion for children and families. John has especially led the way in making Milwaukee County more responsive to the needs of families who experience violence by championing the Sojourner Family Peace Center, and focused on effective prosecution of domestic violence cases and ensuring families have the services and support they need.
We are fortunate to have him as an experienced, tough-on-crime prosecutor, and someone focused on getting violent criminals off the streets. John understands the impact that taking a public health approach to reducing violence in our communities has on maintaining healthy, safe communities.
Under Chisholm’s leadership, the office of the District Attorney has a 95% conviction rate in homicide cases. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office has been a national model for innovative ideas and combating disparities in the criminal justice system, while maintaining the safety of the public.
John Chisholm is the partner we need in the DA’s office to ensure we serve the interests of the people of Milwaukee County, I look forward to continuing this partnership for another four years, and I urge everyone to vote for John Chisholm on August 9.