Last night my family and I ventured East across 124th street to the Northwest side of Milwaukee to visit the family for New Year’s Eve. Creamed herring, smoked oysters, shrimp, shredded beef sandwiches. We left for the relative safety of Waukesha just after midnight. As my wife put the children into the car, she could hear the sounds of gunshots in the distance. This morning Milwaukee announced their first homicide of 2007 occurred at 2:54am. There were three other shootings last night.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found out what Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett thought of the number of homicides in Milwaukee in 2006:
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said 2006’s homicide total was relatively low.
“This number will be the second lowest in the last 18 years,” Barrett said Sunday night. “I’m still concerned with the number shootings, and of course 103 homicides is still 103 too many.”
The 2006 total is below the average number of reportable homicides for the past 10 years. From 1996 to 2005, there was an average of 116 a year.
Yes he should be concerned about the number of shootings, because the number of shootings were actually up. Fortunately for Milwaukee, the good shots seem to have killed each other off in 2005.
So the violence continues in Milwaukee unabated, and those of us who note it are called racists or fearmongers or alarmists or whatever. But there is no crisis in Milwaukee.