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Preventing gun violence top of mind as Bucks fans flock to Deer District for Game 5

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 23:21:08-04

MILWAUKEE — Another game, another flock of fans making their way down to the Deer District to watch the Bucks play against the Nets in Brooklyn.

“People really need this, right. It’s been over a year since we’ve been able to do this kind of thing,” said fan Harrison Carter.

Among the fans, police officers were visible - on bikes, on foot, working to keep the area secure.

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This past weekend on nearby Water Street, there two separate shootings: a 31-year-old man was shot and killed in the 1300 block of North Water around 1:40 a.m. Saturday. Then, there was a non-fatal double shooting in the 500 block of Water around 2:10 a.m. Sunday.

“There certainly has been, in the news the last couple of days, activity surrounding downtown,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “But this is really offshoot of what we have seen at the lakefront. Midtown.”

Mayor Barrett noted he met with Milwaukee police and health leaders early Tuesday about the issue of large groups congregating past 2 a.m., when bars close for the night.

“Part of the challenge is that, with technology, they’re able to assemble and re-assemble rather quickly and move around the city,” Barrett said.

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Bucks fan Chris Martin brought his two sons to watch the game.

“We just want to come and bring some energy. We want to cheer this team on, even though we are here in Milwaukee and they are in Brooklyn. They can feel the vibes we’re sending ‘em,” Martin said.

Martin said he always feels safe downtown and urges other fans and bar patrons to look out for each other to keep everyone safe.

“We need to say, we need more involvement, to say, ‘Look, we’re going to police each other. We are going to help each other out. We see something. We got to say something. It’s just that simple,” he said.

MPD share this message regarding crowd safety:

"MPD recommends that individuals attending sporting events or large watch parties be aware of the exits, stay hydrated especially in extreme heat conditions, make sure you have comfortable shoes and keep them laced to avoid tripping, avoid standing on or near structures that could collapse, if you are in a group; wear unique clothing to help identify your group, have a meeting point if you get separated, parents should be diligent and keep on eye on their children, place your phone number in the child’s pocket in case they are separated, keep your values in protected area like your front pockets and consider leaving if the crowd is getting out of control. Contact security and/or police for any unruly individual or suspicious activity."

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