Faith leaders supports Milwaukee's Mayor cease-fire Sabbath
Mayor Tom Barrett's cease-fire Sabbath is proving to be anything but.
On the same weekend that the mayor is appealing to the local faith community, another rash of shootings in the city of Milwaukee has left two dead and more than a dozen wounded.
In fact, Milwaukee police say that in the span of just over 24 hours, 13 people were shot this weekend, two of them died, including an 18-year-old man gun down at 28th and Burleigh Friday night, and five were injured Saturday during a vigil for the teenager.
Mayor Barrett has tried a number of times to rally Milwaukee's religious community to put an end to the violence plaguing the city.
With already dozens of homicides and countless more shootings, the mayor spent Sunday morning traveling to a number of churches.
The mayor knows those he spoke with are not the problem, but the mayor says they can help be a solution.
\"The people is this church can't believe it\", said Mayor Tom Barrett. I understand that if you were at church at 10 a.m. that you were not at the bars at 3 a.m., and that's where a lot of the problems are. We also know that there are people who get in trouble we have mothers, who have grandmothers and maybe they can reach them. \"
At last count, Mayor Barrett says he knows of 56 homicides in the City of Milwaukee, a number well above what Milwaukee saw at this point last year. People at the rally point it to Saturday night's back-and-forth as a perfect example of the bigger problem.
\"It seemed like half the cops in Milwaukee were on the streets\", said Milwaukee resident Joe Vandenberg. \"A lot of people, a lot of commotion, a lot of people in the streets.\"
CBS 58 spoke with Pastor Craig Spence Sunday evening, and he supports the Mayor's cease-fire efforts.
But Spence tells CBS 58 faith leaders like himself and the local communities are key.
A pastor at Good Hope United Methodist Church and a loyal resident in the city of Milwaukee, Craig Spence believes the community has to step up in order to help combat the violence.
\"Part of the cease-fire is encouraging us to understand that we play a vital part in healing and making our communities a better place to live\", said Pastor Craig Spence.
The pastor tells CBS 58 he's already taken steps.
\"In my particular congregation, I am encouraging my congregation to do the primary things\", said Pastor Spence. \"One, if they hear things going on before they happen, report them to the authorities.”
The Pastor's goal is to eliminate the no snitching code that continues to cripple city neighborhoods.
\"We need to be taking preventative measures, and the best way to do that is always to have your antenna up\", said Pastor Spence. \"Because in the long run you don't know if somewhere along the line you may get caught up in the middle of that. \"
With having Saturday youth programs at his church, Pastor spent says his congregation as a straight talk and no nonsense approach.
\"When young folks are in the community, they tend to think they're grown\", said Pastor Spence. \"So understanding that complexity of their life. Okay we want to show you the consequences of being grown. We deal with that. \"
This Milwaukee pastor says he's with the mayor in this fight against the violence.
\"I think he has an investment interest. That's why we are proud to work with him and our community\", said Pastor Spence. \"I believe our folks want better, but we have to do better.”