Residents applaud court ruling keeping Sherman Park open

Posted at 9:59 AM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 11:01:42-04

MILWAUKEE -- People in Sherman Park are celebrating after a court ruled the park will remain open until 10 p.m.
The people using it on Sunday night said they were ready to take a stand if necessary and stay until they were forced to leave, but it never came to that.

The showdown in the park was happening at the same time a special legal session was going on in the Milwaukee County courts.  Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies approached the people in the park Sunday evening first to say they would close at 6 p.m. Then it was changed to 7 p.m. Finally, the judge's ruling came down and people were told it was back to normal hours, which meant 10 p.m.

As all this was going on the people using the park started asking for Sheriff David Clarke to come to Sherman Park and tell them why they had to leave.

"It's his fight between him and Chris Abele and he puts the residents in between. And at the end of the day the residents didn't do anything," said Michael X.

People at the park were prepared to stay, saying they were going to follow what County Executive Chris Abele said.

"The county executive ordered the parks open to the regular hours and I think the people in the Sherman Park area deserve for that to happen. Nothing ever happened in the park, the park should have never been put in this position," said State Senator Lena Taylor.

State Senator Taylor said it had been three weeks since any violence in Milwaukee. After a Milwaukee Police Officer shot and killed Sylville Smith on August 13, blocks from the park, violence broke out nearby. The BP gas station directly across from the park was looted and burned along with other nearby businesses. An emergency curfew went into effect for the city and the sheriff ordered the park to close at 6 p.m.

Residents have asked for the park to return to normal hours after the emergency curfew was lifted. It has remained in effect and temporary fencing has stayed up circling the park.

People said if other areas of the county can celebrate the Labor Day weekend until 10 p.m. in the county parks it isn't fair their family can't as well.

"The people who suffer are these children who are on the swings, the children who are getting the s'mores. That who suffer, the people," said Amerikus Luvene.

The people in the park are happy with the ruling Sunday night and hope it will become permanent. They are also want to see the fencing removed from the park but as of Sunday night it was still up. 

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