Rebecca Kleefisch calls on Mayor Barrett to resign following deadly weekend

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch called on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to resign on Wednesday, Oct. 6, following a deadly weekend where two children were shot, leaving one dead.

"Milwaukee needs new leadership, and the people need it now," Kleefisch said in a statement. "Milwaukeeans deserve better than a leader who has already checked out. Mayor Barrett hasn’t done enough to stop out-of-control crime. He has one foot out the door while he waits for Washington to confirm him to his ambassadorship. Wisconsin families continue to pay the price."

Two young sisters were shot while sitting in the back seat of a car when someone drove by and opened fire on Saturday, Oct. 1. Mayor Barrett reacted to the shooting at a news conference on Monday, saying he didn't speak to the public the day after the shooting because he was at a loss for words. 

"I simply do not understand how an individual can fire a gun...and kill a little girl and seriously injure her sister. I don't know what the reasons are," said Mayor Barrett.  "As a dad it breaks my heart, as a mayor it makes me angry and as a human being it makes me incredibly frustrated."

Furthermore, Barrett called the violence a "societal issue".

Kleefisch noted how Milwaukee County's "No prosecution" rate of felony charges filed has increased in the last year. Kleefisch also stated there have been 10 murders of children under the age of 10 in Milwaukee since the beginning of 2020.

“If we want to stop crime in Wisconsin’s largest cities from spilling into the rest of the state, we need to get serious about this problem now," Kleefisch said. "That means we need to hire more law enforcement officers and surge State Patrol into high crime areas. Wisconsin liberals like Tom Barrett aren’t taking crime seriously -- as governor, I will.”

While noting the city's violent crime problem, Kleefisch also shared recent figures by the F.B.I. stating Milwaukee recorded its highest homicide numbers ever in 2020. The F.B.I has also ranked Milwaukee in the top 10 of highest violent crime rates in the country.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas also spoke out about the violence plaguing Milwaukee following the death of 11-year-old Ta'Niyla Parker

"We've got an issue of crime and violence in our community and a fear that we've got to try and solve if we're going to make Milwaukee a better place," he said. 

According to Milwaukee police, there were 146 homicides and 693 non-fatal shootings from Jan. 1-Oct. 4 compared to 143 homicides and 542 non-fatal shootings in 2020.

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