By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett held his usual posturing press conference again this week after an 11-year-old girl became the latest senseless victim of unchecked violence in a city controlled by liberals.
Ta’Niyla Parker was shot dead and her 5-year-old sister was in stable condition after another thug opened fire on another vehicle on Milwaukee’s north side.
“As a dad it breaks my heart,” Barrett said at the press conference outside his office. “As a mayor it makes me angry. As a human being it makes me incredibly frustrated that we as a society are seeing this happen.”
But Tom Barrett helped murder Ta’Niyla. He and his liberal allies who have for years put left-wing politics ahead of public safety place the innocent citizens of Milwaukee — particularly its children — in peril every day.
The would-be ambassador of Luxembourg has coddled the city council’s “defund the police” movement in recent years. That war on cops has done much to turn large swaths of Wisconsin’s largest city into a war zone, said Milwaukee-area state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo.
The Barrett-covering Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, “Officials have speculated that complications from the COVID-19 pandemic — such as closed schools and economic fallout — along with skyrocketing gun sales have been factors driving much of the violence not just in Milwaukee but nationwide.”
The article fails to note Milwaukee County’s revolving door of criminal justice that has seen repeat offender after repeat offender kill while out on the streets on minimal bail, plea bargain agreements, deferred judgment, restorative justice or any number of failed liberal soft-on-violent crime programs.
“The crime wave can be boiled down to one simple root cause: Milwaukee’s failure to hold criminals accountable. That’s it, plain and simple,” said Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin). “It’s very ironic that this is coming from the very people who want to defund the police.”
While Milwaukee bleeds police positions (many of them veteran law enforcement officers sick and tired of the lack of support from government leaders), Barrett complains about a lack of funding from the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature.
The irony is rich.
In late December, the Milwaukee Common Council rejected a nearly $10 million federal COPS grant that would have provided the city with an additional 30 officers. Their community-organizing allies, such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation, opposed the funding because it “would have been a step back from the steady movements to defund the police … and a slap in the face to a community that has decided we do not need more officers.”
The nine council members who voted against the grant said they wanted to send a message to the unhinged left that they had been listening to Black Lives Matter protesters and other anti-police groups that spent much of last summer rallying and rioting over high-profile cases of police officer-involved shootings of black Americans.
“It is unfathomable to think why the city would turn down almost 10 million dollars in free federal funding unless there is a separate agenda,” Milwaukee Police Association President Dale Bormann Jr. wrote after the city’s finance committee first rejected the grant.
The city’s own budget director said 450-600 officers may be lost to public safety through attrition over the next four years, about 40 percent of the police force.
“The crime problem of Milwaukee rests squarely on the shoulders of Tom Barrett and the city council, and that is it,” Sanfelippo said, adding that the mayor, per usual, is blaming others for his failures over his 17-year tenure.
As of Tuesday, 151 homicides had been reported in Milwaukee so far this year, 6 more than for the same time in 2020 — a record-smashing year for homicides.
The war zone is growing.
Barrett can talk about anguish and anger all he wants. But until he and his liberal friends on the council stop vilifying police and start putting public safety first, Milwaukee can count on more senseless deaths ahead.