Fast food workers call for safer work environment following fatal Burger King shooting

NOW: Fast food workers call for safer work environment following fatal Burger King shooting

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Activists and community members are calling for safer work environments at fast food jobs after 16-year-old Niesha Harris Brazell was shot and killed during a robbery attempt at a Burger King just over a week ago.

They held a rally Wednesday, Jan. 12 outside of the Burger King where Brazell was shot, which is closed right now as other workers walked out.

Dozens of activists, workers, and elected officials gathered for the event run by Fight for 15 Wisconsin.

One of their leaders, Erica Hunt, said she too faced a robbery and violence in fast food work throughout her career, which is why this hits close to home for her.

"And that hurts because as a mother, I too have a 15-year-old who is getting ready to go into the workforce," said Hunt.

Activists called for higher wages and more responsibility from businesses to protect their workers' well-being.

Of the elected officials there, Milwaukee County 2nd District Supervisor Sequanna Taylor spoke and said instead of talking about change, individuals and elected officials should enact change.

"We shouldn't be saying who should we blame, we should be saying we're going to take accountability for each and everybody who lives in this city, to say this is our city, what happens in this city affects us -- regardless of if you live on the south side, the north side, the west side, the east side," said Taylor.

Activists also spoke about how individuals need to rethink their actions so things like this don't happen.

"Trying to rob a Burger King ain't going to pay your bills or take care of your family. That's not the solution, hard work gets good rewards, killing people gets you behind bars," said one activist.

They also called for Derrick Ellis, the employee police suspect was shooting at the robber and struck Brazell, to come forward so she can get justice.

"Even if you tried to do something that you thought was good, or what you thought was the right thing, you took a life, and you have to answer for that," said Vaun Mayes, a community activist.

If you know anything about Derrick Ellis' whereabouts, you're asked to call Milwaukee police, or to remain anonymous, contact Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.

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