Black Panthers meet with common council president

Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 19:51:21-04

MILWAUKEE -- The Black Panthers of Milwaukee are pressing the common council to take immediate action to fix the problems in the inner city.

Five men, wearing all black, went straight upstairs, and demanded to meet with the common council president.

The meeting began with handshakes and hugs, but led to talk about the tough issues.

"Our people are angry and when you're angry you lash out," said King Rick with the Black Panthers of Milwaukee.

He says that anger led to fires, looting, and rock throwing Saturday night, following the police shooting of Sylville Smith near 44th and Auer.

"I understand why they did what they did, but we have to come together now to make sure that it doesn't happen again," said King Rick.

To prevent future chaos, the Black Panthers say people in these neighborhoods need help.  They say young people need jobs, better education and a different path than prison.

"They want people to come in the community and say hey, you need a job, I got a job for you. You need some quality education, I got some quality education for you," said King Rick.

Ashanti Hamilton agrees: Education, prison, and jobs are the topics to address.

"We're not talking about temporary jobs, but that is a pathway into some permanent type of work, but we have to stand together in the creation of that as well. Well this is my word, that there will be a concrete plan, that the community will be involved in that plan," said Hamilton.

Aldermen met with Chief Flynn Tuesday in small groups, following a less violent night.

"Well we're doing everything possible from a public safety standpoint that what happened last night, that we're able to grow upon that," said Hamilton.

Council President Hamilton tells us aldermen could institute changes in this present budget cycle.  And he hopes to have a public forum soon.  As for the Black Panthers, they say they'll be drafting a letter to the common council. 

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