MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A loud message from Milwaukee’s north side — stop the violence. Several anti-violence rallies happening tonight, and one scheduled at the last-minute in response to an overnight shooting at another city park.
Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen going so far, as calling shooting violence in Milwaukee an epidemic. Bowen organized the call to action at Tiefenthaler Park.
Another rally happened earlier in the evening at the Agape Community Center, trying to reach local teens. As we’ve seen in recent shootings, both the accused and the victims have been young.
The difficult reality is, violence is far too routine for Milwaukee’s youth.
“Unfortunately a lot of shootings a lot of killings a lot of violence going on,” said Al Luzi, Agape Community Center.
And when seeing violence becomes routine, taking part may not be far off.
“It’s becoming normal that you make a mistake, especially in the city right now, and it’s going to cost you your life,” said Pardeep Kaleka, speaker.
The mission of the Agape Community Center is to reach young before violence does, but also help them cope if violence already has.
“Our teens here decided that they wanted to do something about that in terms of just simply spreading,” said Luzi.
Today’s rally was organized by teens, to motivate an even younger face, and give them the opportunity to commit to a cause of anti-violence. Signing their own peace treaty, trying to instill at a young age, they have the power to overcome.
“We have to continue to do these things and if they see that leaders their age doing it then they will just follow suit,” said Abena May, teen organizer.
“Be able to capture them young and start steering them young, so once we start to do that, they start to see what a future could be,” said Ashanti Hamilton, city alderman.
But it’s not the only message in Milwaukee tonight. Bowen says he wants residents to form neighborhood watch groups and report crime when they see it. He also says more police are needed.
Whether its reaching out to the Milwaukee’s youth, or standing up to violence when it happens, the message in Milwaukee is that something has to be done.