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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#055 Precious Lives: Seeking Stories Behind The Numbers

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Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Ashley Luthern interviews Martha Freeman for a Precious Lives story on May 15, 2015, in Milwaukee.

There were 145 homicides in Milwaukee in 2015. The year revealed some persistent trends ­that the vast majority of victims were young African American males who died by a firearm.

It’s tempting to seek one reason behind rising homicide totals, but in some ways you’re better off learning the details behind every story.

Precious Lives' partners at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently updated a database designed to track homicide trends in an effort to provide a more nuanced look at the homicides and memorialize victims.

Reporter Ashley Luthern, of the Journal Sentinel, hopes the online database gives people a better understanding of deadly violence and also serves as a reminder that real people are being victimized in our community.

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