MILWAUKEE—The number of homicides in the city of Milwaukee continues to rise, according to the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mid-Year Review.
The review, released on Tuesday, assessed crime statistics from January 1 to June 30.
Homicides in Milwaukee increased 38% between January and June compared to the same period in 2021. In 2021, there were 80 homicides during this period compared to 110 in 2022.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said they attribute the 38% increase in homicides in part to guns being too accessible.
Johnson called for tougher background checks.
“I’ve said this over and over again, too many people in Milwaukee, too many people in this state, too many people nationwide, who have guns who shouldn’t have their hands on the trigger in first place,” Johnson said.
“We can’t talk about this without knowing that there are guns used to settle disputes – simple disputes where people should just talk about it, argue, maybe even fist fight, but still see the light of another day because they don’t pull out a gun to resolve this dispute,” Johnson added.
Norman said powerful weapons on the streets of Milwaukee are also contributing to the problem.
“We understand that there are individuals who use high capacity weapons – weapons that have 50 round drums, 30 round magazines. Unfortunately, that impact when it comes to those particular non-fatal shooting incidents where we see more people injured,” Norman said.
While homicides are on the rise, other areas of crime have seen improvements, according to the review.
Norman cited an improvement in the rate of reckless driving around town. In the first half of 2022, accidents decreased by 15%; hit-and-runs decreased by 19%. Norman credited community partnerships and increased law enforcement for lowering those rates.
Burglary and car theft rates have also fallen year over year, according to the review.