Barrett: Milwaukee Needs More than Officers to Stop the Gun Violence

Apr 14, 2015

Mayor Tom Barrett says state leaders must help address the the city's gun violence. Milwaukee’s homicide rate is running 160 percent ahead of last April.

He criticizes people who lose control of their emotions and pull the trigger and new state laws that allow more people to possess guns.

“You’ve got this horrible combination, this toxic formula of lack of control and let's just flood these streets with more guns. Let’s just flood these streets with more guns, and this is what you get, as a result,” Barrett says.

Over the weekend, three more people were shot to death, including two outside a house party on Sunday afternoon, near 48th and Hampton.

Police say Archie Brown Jr. had been driving through the neighborhood, when a two-year-old darted out into traffic. Brown’s vehicle struck and killed the toddler. The mayor says someone then "assassinated" Brown – who had stayed by the child.

“Here we had a working man, four kids, son of a preacher, driving on a Sunday afternoon, a horrific accident. He gets out and he does the right thing, and he loses his life. The lack of control of whoever fired that gun, it’s beyond comprehension,” Barrett says.

The shooter also killed a 15-year-old who ran out to help the toddler, his brother.

Last year at this point, Milwaukee’s homicide count stood at 14. As of Monday, it was 39 for 2015.

“And 80 percent of the victims are African American. I’m talking about this, because I believe Black Lives Matter,” Barrett says.

Barrett says non-fatal shootings in the city are up 38 percent so far, over 2014, and Milwaukee police have taken 628 guns of the streets, a 19 percent increase over this time, last year.

The mayor says the state should provide more support for police and prosecutors, so they can remove people who commit gun crimes, from the streets.

“I need the attorney general to have his office engage with our police department directly. I need the Legislature and governor to get more resources to our district attorney’s office so we can have more prosecutions of gun crimes,” Barrett says.

Barrett specifically mentions Gov. Walker, as he continues testing support for a presidential run.

“The governor went to the NRA convention and just knelt before that altar, and you don’t see any of them involved in the urban violence that we see, the slow motion mass murders; they just wash their hands of it,” Barrett says.

Watch the mayor's entire speech here: