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Milwaukee shootings soar, police withdraw– claiming PTSD. Molson-Coors plant shooting in February was a warning: systemic racism.

2020-11-13
guns photo by Tumisu via pixabay.com

Since the murder of George Floyd, the police in Milwaukee have abdicated their responsibilities. Over a hundred policemen have taken sick leave or resigned. There are nominally about 750 policemen in the city of Milwaukee but they are no longer responding reliably to 911 calls.

Milwaukee in grip of violent spasm

Some 500 shootings have been perpetrated and over 140 people killed this year, as of October 6. The local public radio station, WUWM, announced a shooting dashboard on October 6, run by the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).

The WUWM announcement links to a site that calls itself the “Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission” (MHRC)– and says it is “a collaborative effort between the MHRC and the Milwaukee Police Department.” The site is run by the MCW.

The dashboard shows fatal and nonfatal shootings in the city of Milwaukee broken down by day of week, time of day, and year and month. According to the yearly count, the previous peak year (in the 2010-2019 range) was 2015 with 119 homicides. This year so far there were apparently over 140 homicides.

The shootings appear to cluster between midnight and three AM, on Saturdays and Sundays. There are also broad increases in the evening hours every night. There are few shootings between four AM and ten AM on any day, but especially Saturdays.

This is interesting but hardly comforting to the residents of certain parts of the city. A map shows the incidence of shootings in each district of the city, and four stand out particularly– Old North Milwaukee, Harambee, Park West, and North District are worst affected. The map is illuminating.

These shootings suggest that it may be time to call out the National Guard to patrol those sections of Milwaukee– and remove the local police department. So many of the police officers are complaining of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that there must be a unifying factor that explains why they killed George Floyd and why they are afraid to return to work.

Could it be that their attitudes and their violent reactions to encounters with civilians could be related to their response to their jobs with PTSD?

Whatever the root cause of the police response, it is time to remove them all from the situation and replace them with National Guardsmen. Someone needs to call the Wisconsin governor and the president-elect and press this issue with them.

A thousand National Guardsmen could do the work of the entire police force in patrolling the violent areas. It could relieve the police of their stress and relieve the civilians of their exposure to violence. What has happened is a power vacuum since the police have withdrawn from their responsibility, and the vacuum has been filled by people with guns who are settling their disagreements in the only way they know how: by shooting each other.

The only way to stop this is to put heavily armed, armored troops on the streets walking around. Then unarmed civilians will be able to come out of their houses and live more normally.

A precursor to today: Molson Coors.

On February 26, 2020, a man who worked as an electrician at the Molson Coors plant in Milwaukee came to the plant and shot five people to death, then shot himself. The motive has not been officially explained. Why this happened– before the pandemic, before the death of George Floyd– needs to be examined.

It turns out that the shooter was an “African-American” who was a gun collector and who had developed paranoid ideas involving his co-workers. Apparently he felt that he had been discriminated against during the many years that he worked at the plant. This is revealed in this USA Today article from March 2, a week after the shooting:

[Anthony] Ferrill worked in the utilities department in the building. He had worked at the brewery for about 17 years. Ferrill was African American and accused the brewery of discriminating against him. Ferrill complained that employees came into his home, bugging his computer and moving chairs around.

Police declined to comment on a possible motive for one of the deadliest shootings in Wisconsin history.

Ferrill, a self-described gun collector, brought two handguns to work, one with a silencer. 

All but one of the men he confronted had been with the company six years or more. They all knew each other.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/02/milwaukee-molson-coors-shooting-miller-brewery-anthony-ferrill/4928061002/

Thus, the mass shooting that occurred long before any of the current violence was part and parcel of the current situation: the Black population of Milwaukee has been treated in a discriminatory fashion, especially by the police, for many years. Anthony Ferril suddenly exploded at work, but his rage had been building for 17 years. That is why the police are so afraid and suffering PTSD– they expect Black people to hate the police for what the police have done to them over the years.

The root problem is racism– so ingrained that even the victims don’t realize their hatred of themselves and are killing each other with weapons they have bought from their oppressors.

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