City leaders angry after drag racing claims lives two weeks in a row

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For the second weekend in a row, innocent people were killed by cars racing in the streets of Milwaukee.

According to police, a 24-year-old man and a 26-year-old man were racing, when the 24-year-old man slammed into another car at 76th and Silver Spring Drive. The two people in that car, a 66-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, were killed. 

The 24-year-old and the 26-year-old are in custody, but city leaders are angry that this continues to be a citywide problem.

“If you’ve got jerks who are driving 100 mph in a drag race on a city street, you’re gonna expect something terrible to happen,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett was angry Monday morning after drag racing in the city left innocent people dead for the second weekend in a row.

Last weekend, two 22-year-old men were killed near 60th and Hampton. They were not involved in the drag race.

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson called the deaths completely preventable.

“Nobody has to lose their life because other folks decided to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and treat it like a 2,000 lb. missile coming down streets in Milwaukee,” Ald. Johnson said.

In February, Acting Police Chief Jeffrey Norman launched the Traffic Safety Unit to stop reckless driving.

“From February of this year to year to date, we’ve issued 12,000 citations,” said Inspector Willie Murphy.

Meanwhile, Mayor Barrett is calling out the Common Council for not acting on a proposal to spend $6 million to combat reckless driving.

“I want them to enact it,” Mayor Barrett said.

Ald. Johnson says the council will take it up in September.

“It’s not as if the council acting earlier would have stopped this accident from happening,” Ald. Johnson said.

The proposal includes money for Milwaukee police overtime and motorcycle units and for engineering to create infrastructure that discourages reckless driving.

“I think there is a complete lack of respect for the value of life,” Inspector Murphy said. “Milwaukee can do better than this and we have to do better than this.”

Milwaukee police want the public’s help. People can report racing or areas with a lot of reckless driving to the Traffic Safety Unit.

Police use that information to deploy resources. Information can be submitted at https://mpdtsu.org/.

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