Mayor Barrett says those in Madison partially to blame for Milwaukee’s violence; lawmakers respond

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MADISON (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Assembly is back in session, and on Tuesday, April 14th, lawmakers responded to charged comments from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett regarding all the violence we've seen in Milwaukee in recent weeks.

Mayor Barrett held a news conference Monday afternoon -- after an incident Sunday in which three people were killed. It began when a two-year-old was hit by a car and killed near 48th and Glendale. That crash led to a shooting. Archie Brown, the 40-year-old driver who hit Damani Terry was shot and killed. Terry's brother, 15-year-old Rasheed Chiles was also shot. He died at the hospital.

Mayor Barrett on Monday criticized Governor Scott Walker and the state Legislature for passing laws that put more guns on the streets. He called for more resources to deal with all the violence in Milwaukee.

"I do want to lock up more people who do get involved in gun fights in parks, in streets, outside taverns because black lives matter," Mayor Barrett said.

Mayor Barrett is calling on lawmakers to help curb all the violence in Milwaukee.

"No increase in police staffing levels would have prevented the horrific tragedy on 48th Street (Sunday). None. So there has to be something else and another way for us to deal with these issues," Mayor Barrett said.

Mayor Barrett says homicides are up 160% in Milwaukee this year, and he's putting at least part of the blame on those in Madison.

"This community has to face the reality that the gun laws that this state has put forward over the last few years, as proud as it makes the Governor and the Legislature feel, has resulted in more guns on the streets of the city of Milwaukee," Mayor Barrett said.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says lawmakers have tried to help solve Milwaukee's problem by providing for things like ShotSpotter technology that helps police track gunfire.

"I have not seen any data to this point besides hyperbole as to whether or not the bills that I supported which allowed for concealed carry, I mean were the people that perpetrated the crimes concealed carry holders? We don`t know that. So I don`t really know the point he`s driving at other than trying to misdirect the public," Vos said.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca sees the answer to stopping all the violence as a multi-pronged approach, including things like healthcare and providing jobs.

"We'll be caucusing in the next week-and-a-half to discuss a range of other issues that we think might help to address Mayor Barrett's issues and concerns," Barca said.

Barca says he expects to see legislation come up in May that deals with access to guns and he thinks that will spawn a vibrant debate on the topic.

Several city leaders in Milwaukee on Tuesday issued statements in response to all the violence:

Alderman Bob Donovan:

"First, words cannot even begin to describe the tragedy that unfolded near Wahl Park late Sunday afternoon. Sadly, the tragedy was compounded by intense emotions and an overreaction using deadly violence.

But what is most disturbing to me is the mayor’s news conference (held yesterday, Monday, April 13) about the tragic chain of events. Initially, the mayor rightly mentioned how there’s no substitute for self-control in a situation like the one in the 4600 block of N. 48th St. on Sunday.

But then the mayor made a sharp turn off course, blaming everyone from the state Legislature and the Governor, to the NRA – and even some presidential candidates – for what took place on Sunday.

His rambling blame game was a bit bizarre, I must admit.

Is there any problem in Milwaukee that the mayor of Milwaukee will take responsibility for?

The mayor mentioned that Milwaukee’s homicide rate is up 160% when compared to the same time period last year. It is actually up at least 178% when compared to the same time frame last year.

That is just shocking.

And, over the last three years, statistics are telling us that 20% of our homicides will have occurred by mid-April. If that holds true, we’re on pace for 200 homicides this year (the highest homicide total the city has ever seen, based on my memory).

And sadly, I’m given no reason to believe that we won’t reach that total, as there is no plan or steps coming forward from our mayor – just blame and excuses.

Mayor, you and I must subscribe to different standards! We are continuing to hear from residents across Milwaukee who are scared to go outside, who are looking for an end to the violence and disorder. Yet our mayor is blaming everyone else.

If gun laws were the answer (as the mayor seems to believe), then Chicago (with some very tight gun restrictions) would be the safest city in America.

I sure hope our mayor stops the blame game and starts spending more time trying to find a way to end the disorder and violence.

The people of Milwaukee are pleading for that, Mr. Mayor."

Milwaukee County Supervisors Michael Mayo, Sr., and Khalif Rainey said Tuesday Sunday's incident near 48th and Glendale was evidence people are taking the law into their own hands:

“I can’t think of a more tragic incident,” Mayo said. “A man accidentally ran over a two-year-old who darted into the road, and he rightly stayed at the scene trying to help. For that he was shot dead along with a young man who happened to be the child’s brother. We cannot take the law into our own hands.

“What is happening in this county? A man who tried to do the right thing is dead, and so is an innocent person. This sort of gun violence is a horrible act that reflects an increasingly violent culture. It is an absolute tragedy that the little child was killed, but it was an accident. So someone took the law into their own hands, and the result is three deaths. This death means three generations we will not have now.

“We need to stop this violence in our community. If we don’t take care of our community no one else will.”

Mayo said he understood the sorrow of the child’s relatives and his friends, “but that was no reason to shoot two innocent people to death.

“Someone got angry, and now three innocent people are dead. This unconscionable act is a result of a gun culture that has gone completely out of control in this county.”

Rainey expressed his sorrow and offered his condolences to the families of all involved.

“There are too many of these types of senseless acts in our inner city,” Rainey said. “Gun violence is an epidemic in this county. It is out of control, and now three innocent people are dead. When is this going to stop?

“I urge calm this summer. I urge everyone to take a step back before they lose control and create violence. We haven’t even entered the summer months when more violent incidents take place. We need to stay calm and prevent more acts of senseless gun violence in the county. This incident is a case of vigilantism, and we cannot allow this sort of street justice to rule our county.”

Milwaukee Police Association President Mike Crivello issued this statement:

"While the city appears to be in a public safety freefall, the mayor chooses rhetoric and political agenda over a plan for saving our community.

The mayor was quick to point out that no amount of police staffing could make the difference.

1) The mayor chose the current chief -- does he (Flynn) agree with this flawed perspective 2) The mayor says more gun control and state support is needed (where is the local plan) and 3) and finally, he adds that small amounts of marijuana should be permissible and he reminds us that black lives matter. Let me remind him: recently three teens were killed...small amount of marijuana involved! An elderly couple enjoying their senior years, lives cut short...small amount of marijuana involved! Every life in this community matters.

Our police force remains two-to-three hundred officers under staffed, while at the same time, this force is furloughed at a rate equivalent to 48,000 man hours per year.

How can staffing not make a difference?

Our police officers are over tasked, while expected to perform duties of vacant positions -- these officers are forced to work without partners, which puts them at great risk, delays in response time and ultimately jeopardizes the safety of the entire community...investigations are minimized (detective & forensic investigators; each downsized 25% less than when Flynn arrived) -- the crook(s) has/have gained the upper hand under this current leadership."


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  • Truth Hurts

    the problem is our “Justice” system where doing “minor” crimes can you get out of trouble by ratting on people with larger crimes. Then the people that can’t afford attorney’s are never given a fair trial. Judges, Police, Political figures, aldermans etc all have the “blame game” in sight, not an actual intellectual discussion on what it would take to solve the problem.

    MPD can’t keep up with crime rates and MKE doesn’t have a budget to even get close to changing that. That’s on the mayor, not Mad-town. The justice system is rigged, the cops are lying and the penalty doesnt fit the crime *make it actual crime manditory PRISON time, not stupid jail time, which isn’t a punishment at all. Take away items like cars, steroes and things criminals have high demand for.

  • Hell in a handbasket

    Is this the same Mayor who got his bell rung at State Fair a few years ago? Why stop at blaming Governor Walker , just blame Bush like the typical Liberal politician with no clue does. MILWAUKEE VOTED FOR YOU AND DESERVES YOU!

  • Hell in a handbasket

    “Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca sees the answer to stopping all the violence as a multi-pronged approach, including things like healthcare and providing jobs.”

    Barca should be Mayor or Police Chief. He is obviously overqualified!

  • chris

    Wow that tire iron must’ve done more damage than originally thought. Madison is to blame for your failures? No wonder you lost governor twice. You and your stupid trolley, Ed Flynn and Chris Abele along with the liberal judges are to blame. We need a return to conservative values mixed with Sheriff Clarke/Harold Breier types enforcing the law and judges with a sack to lock them away without “offending” them.

  • ObamaSucks

    Every time Barrett opens his mouth he proves without a doubt that he shouldn’t be Mayor of Mayberry let alone a city the size of Milwaukee. Him and Barney Flynn should be ran out of town.

  • s holmes

    The mayor doesnt know what to do, but he sure knows what not to do & thats get tough on crime. When you have big government that depends on crime for funding, few would wonder why they don’t want the crime to go away.

  • Street smart

    I want a ban on all tire irons no more tire irons in cars we have thugs attacking city leaders with tire irons now if you get a flat too bad! Seriously Mr mayor there are hundreds of thousands of guns all throughout suburban America and none of them are taking to the suburbs and killing each other. The problem is in the city of Milwaukee and no reason what so ever to blame or try to take the rights away from hundreds of thousands of responsible gun owners because of a relatively small group of wild animal thugs who are concentrated in your city. I bet all of these shooters have a criminal record and most of them wouldn’t even be on the streets had the justice system not failed to prosecute them the first time. SO Sir it’s time to get in the faces of your liberal buddies and tell them to man up on the prosecution of these criminally motivated thugs! Milwaukee needs a tough military type leadership to deal with this urgent out of control crowd of animals! This is not about blacks this is about criminals who have no place in a civilized society there are many hard working black folks who have chosen to live good honest hardworking lives.

  • mr wrestling

    Enact tougher gun laws? Enforce the ones that r on the books now. Thugs r doing six months in the house for felon in possession. The district attorneys in this county r a joke

  • Kim

    What? Politicians in Madison are responsible for what happens in Milwaukee? Barrett should use that 1/2 billion dollars he wants for a train, for the police department and a police chief who gets things done.

  • Renee Garcia

    Barrett is the prototypical “pass the buck” pollutician.
    He refuse to take responsibility for what happens n his watch.


    Is it weird that every city that’s been run by democrats has a high crime rate and poverty. It’s time for the winning team to step in and save democrats from themselves. Vote republican and you may get a job. Vote democrat and you may get some money until it runs out.

  • steve

    YES Mayor BARRETT … EVERY DAMNED Democrat Politician is to BLAME !!! YOU and Your Kind Who Promote VictimHood , Lack of Values , Destruction of the Family Unit ,and the WELFARE STATE FOR VOTES !!!,over Goals ,Responsibility , Traditional VALUES , the Family Unit , and ACHIEVEMENT ….. YES YOU MAYOR Barrettt and EVERY DEMOCRAT are TO BLAME !!!

  • Mike Herro

    Barret, you are so wrong, the north side needs to be flooded with police. This and all the other shootings are a result of the lack of police presents. You have put all the residents in these area’s at risk and have created a very dangerous environment. They should be outraged by this. Forget about his irresponsible plan about the trolley and use the funds to get this city under control. Take responsibility!

  • Petey

    It ALL starts with family. Ethics and morals and Godly ways are not being instilled in our youth. The Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Well guess what, by NOT doing that the inner city is reaping what they’ve sown. FACT: Blacks are involved in MOST of these senseless killings. Why? They’ve become self absorbed and self centered materialistic people who cannot see beyond themselves. Satan has them exactly where he wants them. It’s only going to get worse as this nation has given up on God and following His ways. Laugh at me now but just watch how bad it’s going to get before the end.

  • T J

    Maybe, just Maybe people will use better judgment when casting their ballot next time. Sorry for the people of Milwaukee that are going through this but they had a chance to make a change. Instead they decided to check the box they were told to by the person at the door or the van driver that picked them up to take them to the polls,

  • Mr. Bob

    Now all of the people commenting here might find this hard to believe but on the Channel 4 news at 6 tonight they disclosed that the killer of Archie Brown Jr and the 15 year old brother of the 2 year old boy was murdered by guess who, the boys uncle, Ricky Chiles shot and killed Brown when he stopped to help the child. Chiles also wounded his nephew, Rasheed who later died at Children’s Hospital. Ricky Chiles is a felon who cannot possess a gun!!! Shocking isn’t it as mayor mccheese would have us believe the shooter surely must have been a conceal carry permit holder that the governor and legislature allowed to have a gun.. Oh this is so shocking that once again it is a convicted POS felon who killed these two…. What have you got to say about that mayor mccheese???

  • Mr. Bob

    This is kind of odd, the uncle who murdered those two people Sunday after the tragic car accident is named Ricky Ricardo Chiles. His mama must have been a huge fan of I Love Lucy!!!

  • Mr. Bob

    Just look at the long long list of convictions for Ricky Ricardo Chiles on CCAP. Why was this animal loose on the streets of Milwaukee people??? He is a low life shi_bag from birth on. His life presents a very strong argument for re-instating the death penalty as well as sterilization….

  • Constitution Defender

    The issue of guns is relevant. You don’t need any ID to purchase a gun through a private party including at gun shows, this does need to be changed. I had to have a background check when I made my gun purchase because I went to a licensed dealer and I agree with that. It’s not right that someone can just go to a gun show with cash and walk out with a gun. I know many are against background checks, but it you have nothing to hide, then it’s no big deal.
    I don’t like how this mayor always seems to be lumping all the gun issues under one umbrella, there are separate issues. I have seen NO evidence that any of these killings are from licensed concealed carriers or from legal owners. The reason people like me need concealed carry permits is because there are too many criminals with illegal guns and we need to protect ourselves from them. This is why I back Walker, he pushed for the law giving me the ability to carry concealed. He didn’t make the law that allows you to purchase guns at gun shows with no ID, that was already in place, he just leveled the playing field. I’m afraid this &%#@ mayor is going to get the CCW law reversed then only the criminals will have guns.
    But none of this addresses the real issue, because if you take the guns off the streets, they’ll use knives, or clubs, or hammers (FBI stats show more people are killed from hammers than rifles), or even rocks. These criminals will find a weapon and use it because they have no morals, no empathy, no scruples, no sense of right and wrong. We need capital punishment for the murderers and life sentences for the habitual criminals.
    But then again, this will not help either, because this is the way our country is going, to hell in a hand basket. In schools they are teaching there is no absolute right and wrong anymore.

  • Jon from Milwaukee

    And now we know that the shooter (Ricky Chiles) was a felon with a gun. For anyone who doesn’t already know, felons simply being in possession of a firearm is a felony that will earn them up to a 10 year prison sentence and $25,000 fine. Since Barrett has access to police information and therefore had the ability (and likelyhood) to know this when he made his attack speech, it is very likely that he was once again knowingly lying in the interests of putting his political rhetoric ahead of the people he is supposed to be representing. Is anyone really surprised about this? A much more effective answer here would be to actually keep these violent criminals in prison for their full sentences. If this would have happened, Ricky Chiles would have been in prison on Sunday and wouldn’t have been able to shoot anyone (including his own nephew). It also meant Sylvester Lewis would still have been in prison and would not have been able to shoot Sierra Guyton, among MANY other examples. But no, instead of pursuing an obvious answer he decided again to lie to all of us and push his own failed agenda instead of actually working for the citizens of Milwaukee.

  • G.Houle

    yep blame all the responsible gun owners for crimes committed by criminals, not like we blame cars for deaths in DUI and drunk driving cases. The fact that this guy got in office just proves how greasy and divided politics really are.

  • DIck Fitzwell

    The mayor does not get it. If he think CCW laws have put more guns on the street, cite one case this year where a conceal carry person killed one person. The criminals responsible for the increase in the murder rate are not legally purchasing their guns. This mayor loves strawman arguments. The areas where these killings are occurring need some real leaders to step up and change the culture where they live, there is such a lack of respect for life and people are so quick to grab their guns if they have been “wronged.” How about mandatory minimum sentences, how about a DA that charges people for the crimes they committed and cut down on plea bargains. And how about Judges that give out the recommended sentences and not let criminals walk. Part of the system is broken, the police are making the arrests, the DA and judges have blood on their hands by being lenient.

  • Reuben Anderson

    I must agree with the Mayor, Madison has ignored the city for years and although it is the responsibility of members of the community to address the men committing theses senseless acts, the State of Wisconsin or Mr. Walker has shown very little concern in terms of creating jobs and other programs aimed at assisting men in building more productive lives.
    This is not a blame game, its fact. Our community is out of control and Mr. Walker is out trying to make a name for himself. President he shall never be because he cannot control his own house.

      • Reuben Anderson

        Open your eyes because its clear to me you are blind. Clearly you don’t understand the Constitution especially where it states all men are created equal. but know this, you and everyone who thinks like you shall find their eternal home in hell so won’t I even tell you to go there.

  • quillerm

    The Mayor is blaming Scott Walker for a CRIMINALS action in shooting someone? Criminals DON’T follow the laws, just like Hillary in destroying evidence and Obama on Immigration. Criminals and liberals don’t respect the laws of out Nation. Don’t try to take away the right to bear arms from law abiding citizens, because some criminal decides to commit a crime.

  • John

    The city own its residents a decent carefree place to live. Stop pointing fingers! It’s not right to pay taxes and can’t even enjoy what the city has to offer.

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