MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee mother is pushing to help protect a neighborhood following her son’s 2019 murder. Wanda Welch said she is pushing for cameras to be installed near the area of the shooting.
“Every single day, it’s like reliving the event. It's like,' I thought I was in a good place,'” Welch told TMJ4 News ahead of a hearing for a suspect in the case.
She said there’s not a day that goes by when she doesn’t think about her son, Stephan Cannaday.
Stephan was shot six times on April 12, 2019 in an alley between Lancaster and Villard Avenue during a carjacking.
“You can see the driver getting out and shooting him six times,” Welch said.
Police said his body was found by someone walking through an alley. It took months for arrests, but Tuesday one of the people allegedly involved finally faced a judge.
She believes a big reason is because one house had a camera.
“I’m sad to say if that house did not have those cameras, we would have four people, really bad criminals, walking around,” she said.
Even though she doesn’t live on the block where the shooting happened, Wanda said she still feels connected to it.
“Where the cameras were installed, we found an increase in crime, but what we pegged that to was the camera operators actually noticing crimes they otherwise wouldn’t have noticed," said Daniel Lawrence, a research associate at Urban Institute.
Urban Institute began a three-year study on the Milwaukee Police Department’s use of cameras from 2016 to 2019. Simply having a camera helped officers detect more crimes, and helped with solving 14% more cases.
While solving cases, Lawrence said it also increases police presence in Black and brown communities where trust between police and residents isn’t as solid as it can be.
“This all comes with the caveats. These cameras are often in low-income communities of color that have an unfair police presence,” Lawrence said.
Back in the neighborhood, people like Daniel Johnson, who is a caretaker for his dad, says he's thankful for Wanda and the possibility of having cameras around to protect property.
“I wish I could see you right now ma’am. I’d give you a hug right now. Because I lost a lot of people in my family, too,” Johnson said.
As for her son’s alleged killers, Wanda said she forgives.
“You’ve hurt me really badly. You’ve hurt my children and you’ve temporarily damaged that neighborhood, but it’s never too late to change your life,” she said.
The Milwaukee Police Department said it uses several different types of cameras throughout the city.
Cameras owned and operated by MPD usually cost between $4-8,000 each. Police also work with residents who also have cameras they use.