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Finding a way: Neighbors and police committed to helping Rufus King students after shooting

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with MPD Inspector and a longtime resident near the school
Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 19:14:53-05

MILWAUKEE — There's a foundation that runs deeper than the homes built brick by brick near Rufus King High School, it's the homeowners.

Cornelius Whiteside, a retired Milwaukee Public School (MPS) Special Education teacher, has lived in the neighborhood for 35 years.

"There are concerned neighbors that look out for each other," said Whiteside.

When he heard four teenagers were shot outside the high school by an adult after a disagreement on social media, it caught his attention.


"I think most of all, the parents need to explain to these kids when they have differences about how to mediate or talk it out among themselves without it being coaxed on," he said.

Last week, students walked out to protest gun violence.

Inspector David Feldmeier was the recent Captain for the district that includes Rufus King.

Benson: What's your though process when you see these things happening?

Inspector Feldmeier: It's heartbreaking when we have these types of events happening.

Benson: What do you say to people who just throw up their arms and say "it just doesn't get better"?

Inspector Feldmeier: We don't have a choice, safety is paramount. Our effort has to be 100%.

In 2020, Milwaukee Public Schools terminated its $500,000 contract with the Milwaukee Police Department. Students and board members questioned the relationship during the summer months of Black Lives Matter protests about policing.

Inspector Feldmeier says the contract may have ended, but not their responsibilities.

"We are still charged with keeping the city safe," he said. "We let our district commanders know they should have a good relationship with various principals within their areas of responsibility. Keep those lines of communications open, we will continue to respond when we are called upon."

Back in the neighborhood, Whiteside says there needs to be a team effort and better communication with police, educators, and the community.

"I think there is communication but there seems to be a gap," said Whiteside. "We are on the same chord. We want the same thing, but we are going about it in different ways at times."

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