I’m sure you have seen it on the news or on social media.  Milwaukee has been in the news a LOT these past couple of days.  A Milwaukee cop shot a thug that had a gun aimed at him.  A stolen gun by the way…from a previously committed crime.

Sylville Smith and a buddy of his were pulled over by Milwaukee Police.  I am not sure why.  I do not know if that information has been released yet.  They got out of the car and fled.  Mr. Smith turned around and aimed a gun at the MPD officer.  Seriously…what the heck did he think the cop would do???

Sheriff David Clarke said it well.  He said, “You cannot point a gun at a police officer and expect nothing to happen.”

There were several murders in Milwaukee in the days proceeding this shooting.  Mostly black on black murders.  Nobody rioted in the streets. People were not all up in arms on Facebook about Black Lives Matter.  If that was really the issue here, there would be rioting in Milwaukee on a nightly basis.

The issue here is that a police officer shot a black man, and it fed the hunger for the need to protest and riot here in Milwaukee.  It was just a matter of time.

One question I have is why Sylville Smith was even out on the street?  Having listened to Sheriff David Clarke, I now know that Sylville had 13 arrests and did no jail time. The details on a few of these arrests: Robbery use of force, several drug charges, and intimidating a witness. These charges were dismissed by Milwaukee County.  Why???  How many times can someone be put on probation before it becomes obvious that he was not learning his lesson.  Milwaukee’s Criminal Justice system needs a good overhaul obviously!

Another question I have is regarding the rioting that later occurred. Six businesses in the area where the shooting took place were burned. A BP gas station, O’Reilly Auto Parts store and a liquor store were completely destroyed.  A beauty supply store, BMO Harris Bank and another liquor store were severely damaged.  How in the world does burning down these buildings solve anything?  What it does is put people out of jobs.  Black people.  The people they were chanting and yelling about.  Black Lives Matter.  If they matter so much to these rioting thugs – why would they burn down the places that employ them? The places that give them a paycheck to help them get food and pay the rent. What did that solve?  Sylville Smith is still dead.  No justice was served in burning down of these buildings.  And let’s not forget that they looted the BP station before burning it down.  It would have all been a total loss to the owner anyways, but that is besides the point.  It was NOT theirs to take.  It is all very disgusting.

Let’s also talk about how shots were fired at the fire fighters coming down to put these fires out.  They could not get to the burning buildings because they were being shot at. Thank you God that the under ground gas tanks at the BP station did not ignite.  Can you imagine?   I also cannot forget to mention that an MPD squad car was burned. Several other cars were burned – intentionally!  Bricks and rocks were thrown at squad cars.  At least one officer was taken to the hospital for injuries due to his windshield being smashed.  MCTS bus stop shelters were damaged. One was actually ripped out of the ground and rolled down the street.  Again – what did any of that solve?  All that showed was frustration and ignorance.

I do not believe that the majority of these rioters even knew Sylville Smith.  I heard that there were posts put out on social media telling people to come down and join the crowds.  Police were called in from other jurisdictions.  Money…taxpayer money…was spent to keep this mess under control.  More taxpayer money will be spent to pay all of the overtime to continue to keep these thugs/protestors/rioting people in order.

Insurance costs will go up.  These businesses will need to be cleared up and possibly rebuilt. I will be curious to see if the businesses reopen or just say to heck with it.  I cannot fathom thinking that ruining someone’s business, their livelihood, is ok and the right way to demonstrate how they feel.  I guess they don’t much care though. Their insurance policies are most likely the guns they carry. I am not against guns. No, quite the opposite.

I have heard it said that this happens because these people are poor and under-educated.  They cannot rise above this poverty level of living.  They come from homes that do not have a father’s presence.  They are part of gang involvement and drug/alcohol abuse.  While I do somewhat agree, I do think that some of this could start to turn around.  It will take a LOT of work.  There are several areas that need improvement.  First, the Criminal Justice System needs to punish crimes that these people commit.  Probation is not the solution. Granted, MPD and Sheriff Clarke do NOT have the staff necessary to make this happen.  That is another whole rant of mine.  These families need to understand that help is out there for continued education.  The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Growing Prosperity Chapter can help get them into education programs beyond high school by offering scholarships and financial assistance and grants.  Yes, truancy is a problem.  The number of graduating students could of course use help.  There are drug and alcohol addiction groups and places they can go to fight and more importantly beat their addictions.  Kids need to know that gang membership is not a good lifestyle choice.  Want to join a group?  Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee are open until 9pm.  Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.  There are so many options out there that do not include violence.

Sylville’s father has admitted to being in and out of jail several times. He says he is not a good role model for his children.  Well, I would have to agree.  We all make the choices of  how our lives are going to go.  Kudos that he realizes this now, albeit too late for Sylville.

Our city needs help.  Our people need help.  However they need guidance and correction and discipline.  They need to be taught basic manners.  Rioting and killing each other is not the answer to their frustration. It just makes matters worse, and it makes them look like fools. No one is going to want to open a business in an area that is run by thugs and known for violence.  IF they want to have a better neighborhood, better living conditions and jobs that can help them get the things they need, they need to stop this nonsense and start fighting to keep their neighborhood clean and safe.

I obviously do not have all of the answers.  I do wish they would stop for a moment and think about what their actions are really doing to the area.

ALL LIVES MATTER…Yours, mine, everyone’s!

Please also understand that not all of Milwaukee is like this.  Milwaukee has areas that are beautiful.  If you are so inclined, please pray for peace for our city.