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Milwaukee teenagers share concerns about reckless driving, gun violence in town hall

Posted at 9:21 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 23:20:53-04

MILWAUKEE — A group of Milwaukee teenagers spoke out during a Friday town hall about how gun violence and reckless driving have impacted their lives.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman along with several other community leaders participated. They listened as the young people shared their stories.

"The car that was shooting a block away comes through our neighborhood and starts shooting. So quickly I see my mother crawling from the top porch to our living room, and in that moment, I'm like, wow," said 15-year-old Joshua Lyons.

Lyons is one of several teens who helped plan the discussion. It took place at the Center for Family Preservation on North Teutonia Avenue.

The group discussed the impacts of mental health, gun violence, and reckless driving.

"Both my mom and I were t-boned by a stolen jeep that had three young children in the car," said Latrece Hughes, who lost her mother in the crash back in 2018. "And so I just want to make sure that we help children and anybody that is driving recklessly to think with the end in mind."

Lyons wants to make clear not all young people are making poor choices. He says many are trying to figure out how to make a difference.

"Most of us are out here just struggling or impacted by it, and we don't know what to do with it," Lyons said. "So it's good that we have kids that's in our program, including me, that actually get the platform to talk and speak about it to city officials like the chief."

TMJ4 News asked Lyons what he hopes Chief Norman takes away from the conversation.

"I hope he heard my heart, really, because living in Milwaukee and living here my whole life is really important. I'm really first-hand impacted by all this violence," Lyons said.

Data shows Milwaukee Police have issued more than 4,000 citations for speeding this year. Now they are partnering with State Patrol to help curb reckless driving.

Chief Norman says he heard the young people's concerns and says more needs to be done.

"What we do have a challenge is, is how do we connect with each other? How do we have more of this?" Chief Norman said.

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Travis is ready to get to work on solutions, particularly when it comes to juvenile justice.

"Some more rehabilitation programs that they can get into because there are so many more re-offenses rather than first cases," Travis said.

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