MILWAUKEE — Non-fatal shootings in Milwaukee have nearly doubled from the same time period in 2020.
Data from the Milwaukee Police Department shows there have been 102 shootings from Jan. 1, 2021 to Feb. 28, 2021, compared to 54 in the same time period in 2020. This follows last year with 190 homicides, a record for the City of Milwaukee.
Derrick Rogers with the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention believes the pandemic has played a role in the rise in crime.
“There’s a great deal of continued anxiety in this city, a lot of stress-induced anxiety. There’s just a great deal of continued relational and familial violence that continues to go on as people are closer together,” said Rogers.
Rogers calls the numbers disheartening and continues to work with his team to stop violence before it starts. He says he’d like to get more conflict resolution skills into the hands of the community at large in hopes people can help de-escalate violence in realtime.
Arnitta Holliman is a mental health expert who also works with the Office of Violence Prevention.
She says, “violence begets violence [and] is perpetuated so we’ve really got to take a hard look at how to stop it from the beginning and not just intervening after something has happened.”
While it’s hard to know exactly what drives the numbers, she believes the pandemic is at least partially to blame for the records in 2020 and the numbers this year.
“My assumption would be that no we wouldn’t have seen the kind of numbers that we did. I think this pandemic has caused a lot, it’s not just being stuck in the house. It’s also about some of the general anxieties that people might carry from day to day," according to Holliman.
Despite the higher number of shootings in 2021, homicides in the city are down 7 for the time period starting Jan. 1. That time period in 2020 saw 24 homicides, this year the city has recorded 17.