He has a decent idea, but his thinking is all screwed up, says black are violent toward each other because of slavery. WTF? They should be tackling issues like absentee fathers, crack, booze, and irresponsibility!
Group to make citizen's arrests
Alderman says Rapid Response Team will monitor police, too
By GREG J. BOROWSKI
Posted: Sept. 2, 2004
Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee said Thursday the anti-crime Rapid Response Team he has formed would report to hot spots, monitor police and - "without a doubt" - attempt to make citizen's arrests.
At a City Hall news conference, the first-term alderman was joined by several dozen youthful supporters that he said make up the "committee" that will oversee the effort, which the head of the largest police union this week said smacks of "vigilantism."
McGee slammed the media for not telling what he says is the full story behind his group, which was announced by press release this week, then declared: "When you get details, you don't report them, so what does it matter?"
During the news conference, the group was variously described as an initiative to address black-on-black crime, a monitoring program to deal with police brutality and an information source for north side residents.
One member, identified only as Brother Earl, said the group was a "peaceful initiative" that would work "in tandem with the Police Department in their genuine and legitimate efforts to work to remedy our problems."
Reached later, Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Nannette Hegerty said a cooperative effort would be welcomed. But both cautioned against individuals attempting to function as police, or intervening in incidents.
"Any time somebody tries to do something like this, I have concerns about their safety, especially in a violent situation," said Hegerty.
"I don't think it's helpful to discount the police," said Barrett. "They'll always be there."
Barrett and Hegerty both said they are committed to addressing any improper incidents by police, if reported.
"I believe the alderman is frustrated with the level of crime and number of victims in the areas he represents, and I share his frustration," said Barrett. "What we should focus on is to work with the police to eliminate the crime."
Both said McGee had not discussed his plan with them.
McGee and others at the news conference indicated the Rapid Response Team would be "dispatched" when residents see problems or hear of incidents on police scanners.
At one point, McGee said the group would document what is happening and "be the CNN for our community." At another, he said: "We have a right to monitor and patrol and police our own community." At still another, he said: "We don't plan to get up in people's faces, but we're men and women and we will do what we need to do."
When asked what form a response would take, McGee said: "The response will look like whatever way it should look like." Later he said, "You never know how things evolve. The Ku Klux Klan evolved, so it might evolve."
The news conference featured two rap songs, one from a man identified as Armagideon that included the refrain "watch the police." Several supporters videotaped the proceedings, including reporters and other observers.
After criticizing reporters for not having the "heart" to make citizen's arrests when they arrive at crime scenes before police, McGee said his group would make such arrests "without a doubt."
When asked if he was concerned about members getting hurt, McGee offered a disdainful look - one mirrored in faces of many standing with him.
"They're getting hurt already," McGee replied.
Several times, McGee said his reference to "domestic terrorism" included crimes committed within the black community, adding: "We are violent toward each other. We have self-hate, a lot of seeds of slavery still in us."
He also cited police brutality and "disrespect" of residents and said "you can't take care of internal problems with that foot on your neck."
Earlier this week, Milwaukee Police Association President Bradley DeBraska criticized the effort, saying it smacked of "vigilantism."
He also said participants could be subject to arrest if they interfere at a crime scene and could face liability if they hurt someone.
Ald. Ashanti Hamilton, another first-termer, attended the news conference but did not speak.
There was no discussion of what training, if any, the group would have, nor an explanation of how members would be identified while responding to an incident.
The group has no formal connection with the city.
McGee repeated Thursday his position that he is the mayor of the hip-hop generation and labeled his move as a "citizen-driven initiative, but it's rubber-stamped by myself."
Hegerty said there are south side groups that are on call to help police ease tensions if crowds gather at crime scenes. Barrett noted that in the Sherman Park area, some residents drive through trouble spots and alert police to problems.
"That, to me, is a constructive way to deal with the issue," said Barrett.
Milwaukee is fuuuuuucked up. 100 years from now, we will still be hearing "the Man is holding us DOWN!" coming out outta the north side, and despite the best attempt of the.gov, it will still be a drug and gang infested violent run down shithole.