MILWAUKEE — A crowd of activists and community leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon to demand an end to violence in the workplace after a 16-year-old was shot and killed last week.
The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) says Niesha Harris-Brazell was shot and killed while working at Burger King near 51st and Capitol. Court documents allege her coworker may have fired at someone investigators say was trying to rob the store, but hit Niesha instead.
MPD says it has arrested the suspect they believe was involved in the robbery, but the person they think pulled the trigger is still at large.
The group came together Wednesday, not only to mourn Niesha, but to demand better for workers like her.
"I started my first job at 16-years-old at Wendy's and during that time, 15 minutes into the shift, we were robbed by gunpoint," said restaurant manager Erica Hunt. "As a mother, I, too, have a a 15-year-old who's getting ready to go into the workforce, and I know how ugly workplace violence can get."
"What it comes down to is Milwaukee needs help. I'm only 16, I can't do it myself," said poet Janiya Williams.
The City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention Director Arnitta Holliman says her team has been in touch with Niesha's family to try to help with the healing process.
"I really press and express to people over and over it's important you take your time with this loss, this shock," said therapist Simmone Kilgore. "There's all types of unanswered questions and why's and what didn't I do or what could I have done?"
So far in 2022, MPD data shows they have investigated five homicides.
"We've had two consecutive years of historic levels of gun violence in this city, and we all want to see this year better," said Reggie Moore, the Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin.