Peace in Sherman Park Friday

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 23:32:49-04

For the first time since Monday, there is a calm night in Sherman Park. In recent days the park has been overrun by kids who have turned violent, throwing rocks and bricks at nearby businesses, buses, and police.

Earlier in the week, authorities had to come out in riot gear when nearly 100 children overran the park and went into the streets. But that was not the case Friday night. 

Drums, dancing, and a spontaneous kickball game were where all of the loud noise was coming from this night. Community groups even brought in free pizza for the children playing in the park. 

A large law enforcement presence showed up again Friday night. Dozens of sheriff's deputies patrolled in the park while Milwaukee Police walked the streets around it.

Neighbors say the issues in the park are nothing new. A Milwaukee woman's 11-year-old nephew was beaten up a few months ago here.  

"A group of kids with a bad attitude did it. He said they were already picking on him and calling him fat and it just went from there," says Serena Simmons.

Now the children in her family are not allowed at Sherman Park alone.

Marco Morrison who runs the Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club in Sherman Park says not all of the kids are at fault.  He says it's not the kids and teens in his program who are causing trouble. They are trying to get away from it.

"A large number of youth who do come to our program because they want a positive safe place to be," says Morrison. 

Community activist at the park say part of the problem is that there is nothing for kids to do. But Morrison argues kids can get free memberships.

"There is a lot of things for the kids to do if they want something positive to do," Morrison says. 

The Boys and Girls Club says they have been offering memberships to some of the kids in the park the last few days. They can join for free, it just requires a parent's signature.