Roosevelt Middle School students question mayor, police chief on plans to curb gun violence, reckless driving

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A topic that 6th graders shouldn't be concerned about is weighing heavy on their minds.

"We're very -- just scared and aware of everything," Zamya Onuchuku, a sixth grader at Roosevelt Middle School, said.

Recent violence sparked conversation amongst students at Roosevelt Middle School. They wrote letters to Mayor Cavalier Johnson, questioning what he and the police chief are planning to do to stop the shootings and reckless driving in their city.

Today, city and district leaders responded.

"I can't go to the park without thinking about, you know, something might happen," Fredie Wright, a 6th grader at Roosevelt Middle School, said. "All we can hope is that he really does something about it."

Those are the same concerns and questions coming from many adults after at least 21 people were shot in downtown Milwaukee Friday night.

"Nobody deserves to feel that sort of fear that folks felt in this city last week, Friday," Johnson said.

Johnson said he's reviewing what his options are, including the possibility of extending a curfew for people under 21 years old.

"I am looking at all possible measures. I'm not going to take anything off the table at all," Johnson said.

Johnson told the students that recent data shows the number of kids killed in Milwaukee is right on track with last year's numbers.

"Kids this age and younger that are out there, they have no business at all, zero reason for them to be on the streets at that late at night, at that hour, stealing cars or doing anything. They should be inside," Johnson said.

As summer approaches, the mayor said he needs a certain group of people to be more accountable. 

"I need parents to step up and to make sure they're taking responsibility for their kids in this city," Johnson said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman deputized the students and made them swear to speak up when they see or hear violence in their community.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley said the district is also reviewing ways to support and speak with students about the violence happening in Milwaukee. 

Watch the full event below:


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