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Police, community reflect on another year of record homicides in Milwaukee

Posted at 9:32 PM, Dec 30, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Hundreds of candles lined the altar of Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church Thursday night, each of them representing the lives lost to violence in Milwaukee this year.

Dozens of heartbroken family and friends turned out to the annual vigil organized by Northcott Neighborhood House.

"We stand with you," said Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention Director Arnitta Holliman. "We feel your pain, it is palpable. We feel the intensity of your fear and your uncertainty and your frustration around violence in this city."

As of Dec. 30, Milwaukee Police have recorded 194 homicides—a record. The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) reports 94 of them have resulted in arrests, or have been "cleared." That's fewer than half. From 2017-2019, MPD's reports it nearly hit 80 percent in its homicide clearance rates.

In 2020, MPD recorded 190 homicides and cleared 104.

In 2019, MPD recorded a total of 97 homicides.

"It's disheartening no matter what," said MPD Inspector Paul Lough. "Any amount of homicides is unacceptable, and we strive to continue to work toward lowering the number and clearing as many of them as we can."

Inspector Lough oversees MPD's Criminal Investigation Bureau. He says their goal and the effort put forth to solve every case does not waiver.

"These cases never get stopped working on," Lough said. "Just because it's not clear right now, even from prior years, a tip could come in any day, a breakthrough, which could lead us to solving a case from up to a decade or 20 years ago." 

That's exactly what Shannon Allen wishes for every day. 

Her son, DeAndre, was shot and killed five years ago on the day after Christmas in 2016. 

No one has been arrested for his death.

"He loved his teams, he loved his glasses, he was into his music," Allen said. "He loved his music. And he would always tell us, when I rest, I'm going to rest in peace." 

It's difficult for Allen to hear about the surge in violence—knowing so many other families feel her same pain, and may have to endure an agonizing wait for justice. 

"There's so many moms, families, that hasn't reached my point where they can actually get out and talk," Allen said. "When I speak and I share my voice, I don't only share it for my son, DeAndre, I share it for the whole city of Milwaukee homicides." 

If you have any information for any case, call Milwaukee Police or Crime Stoppers at 224-TIPS. 

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