With the Los Angeles Times, it’s about a political narrative, not the news…
On the front lines of the U.S. homicide epidemic: Milwaukee faces historic violence
Jeremiah Hughes was mowing a lawn on a Wednesday afternoon when two men barged through an alley gate. They were armed. Shots rang out.
Hughes died in the yard and was taken to the morgue and then to El Bethel Church of God in Christ, where days later he lay in an open, emerald-green casket as muffled cries rose through a hymn on a loudspeaker. He was 24 and had his mother’s name — Gwen — tattooed on his left hand.
Velvet ropes surrounded his casket to prevent people from grabbing for him in their despair.
“My only son,” said his father, Stan Lindsey. “Gone like that.”
Milwaukee is in the grip of the worst violence in its modern history. There were 189 killings here last year, a 93% increase from 2019 and the most ever recorded.
The jump reflects a nationwide trend. In one study, researchers from the nonprofit Council on Criminal Justice looked at 34 cities and found that 29 had more homicides last year than in 2019. The overall rise was 30%, though in most places killings remained below their peaks in the 1990s.
Among the 19 cities with more than half a million people — including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago — none saw a bigger surge than Milwaukee. With 127 killings through the first half of September, the city is nearly on pace to match last year’s record. Hughes was the 78th person killed this year.
The uniformity of the nationwide rise has launched multiple theories about what is driving it. Nearly all center on the pandemic — which has caused enormous hardships — and the mass movement against police brutality and racism, which changed policing and the relationship between law enforcement and communities where violence has long been concentrated.
Did a society on edge, with schools closed, social programs shut down and people cramped up at home, simply become more violent? Were more people carrying guns? Did police retreat in a way that emboldened criminals? Experts say it could take years to unravel those questions, but the toll of the fallen has struck hard in neighborhoods across the country.
There are no clear answers in the June 16 killing of Hughes. Police have released only basic details from their investigation: The weapon was a “long gun,” the motive “retaliation,” and the two suspects were “acquaintances” of Hughes, who had no criminal record.
Lindsey [his father with a different last name] said he believes the intended target was a young man who worked for Hughes on landscaping jobs and had a feud with the suspects. The gunfire missed the employee. Nobody has been arrested in the case.
The violence in Milwaukee follows familiar patterns, according to the city’s Homicide Review Commission.
In a city that is 40% Black, most victims are Black men, as are the perpetrators, who usually kill with handguns.
Most of the homicides last year — 54% — occurred in a roughly 30-block radius on the north side, a predominantly Black area where deep-rooted racism has led to neglect and poverty.
What’s different now is that many more people are dying.
The neighborhood was the only option for most Black families, because deeds excluded them from renting in other parts of the city. Redlining by banks, which automatically disqualified people in Black neighborhoods from taking out mortgages, made homeownership a distant fantasy.
Residents were also denied adequate healthcare and education. When Interstate 43 was constructed through the area in the 1960s, businesses were demolished.
Despite the racism, Pitts recalls a neighborhood that felt safe — a place where killings were so rare that safety never crossed her mind. As in many cities, drugs in the 1980s quickly changed that.
A few weeks before Jeremiah Hughes was killed, his father told him he was going to help pay for a new pickup. Hughes was eager to expand his landscaping business, and Stan Lindsey wanted to support him in any way he could.
Lindsey enjoyed watching his young boy grow into a hardworking young man with a girlfriend and deep love for his large family. He had seven siblings and step-siblings.
Now, Lindsey stared at his son’s casket as Steven Tipton, the pastor at El Bethel, approached the pulpit and began to speak.
He told the dozens of mourners that he’d officiated several services for homicide victims recently and noted a pattern. Many had started as tiffs on social media or other disputes that once would have been settled with words.
“Then you see bullets fly,” he said.
Kurtis Lee is a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. He writes news features, narratives and profiles on an array of topics — race, criminal justice, immigration, income inequality, the 2nd Amendment. He won first place in the 2020 National Headliner Awards for his series of stories about the COVID-19 pandemic on the Navajo Nation. Lee has filed reports from the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and chronicled Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. Prior to joining The Times in August 2014, Lee worked at the Denver Post where he covered state and national politics. He’s also reported from the scenes of destructive wildfires and mass shootings and was a member of the Post staff that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Aurora theater shooting. He’s a graduate of Temple University.
Current Example -- Prominent Milwaukee Democrat Faces 5 Felony Charges (September 8, 2021)
A Milwaukee Alderwoman running for Wisconsin's US Senate Seat is accused of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in campaign finances through reimbursements made by the city and using campaign finances for personal uses.
Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, who announced she is running for US Senate as a Democrat on July 21, faces five charges, including:
As a result of the charges, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson announced Lewis would be removed from all of her committee assignments"
"In light of the five felony charges brought against Alderwoman Chantia Lewis by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, I am, effective immediately, relieving her of all committee assignment duties. Make no mistake that our judicial system presumes that every individual is considered innocent until proven guilty in court. However, until this matter is resolved, I am moving without hesitation to protect the institution of the Milwaukee Common Council, as well as the City of Milwaukee. <Source>
Once again, the Los Angeles Times is all about a false narrative that deliberately misses the point. Most of our inner-city woes can be traced to the corrupt progressive communist democrats that govern. Ask where the billions of dollars targeted at inner-city improvement and education have gone? Why have certain democrat cities controlled by Democrats turned away significant sources of jobs because the employer was not “unionized?”
We need better leaders to bring about a better outcome – not the same corrupt politicians, parties, and their heirs. Especially the corrupt and radical Democrats.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell