Illustration by Kristian Knutsen; image via city of Milwaukee

Series: Milwaukee Gun Violence

Milwaukee experienced a dramatic increase in shootings and homicides in 2015. This violence was concentrated in the poorest areas of Wisconsin's largest city, one with entrenched racial and economic disparities. The locations of most homicides correspond with the zip codes that have the highest poverty rates, the lowest levels of educational attainment, weak access to mental-health services, and high numbers of people struggling to pay rent. These issues are also connected to historical events like the city's urban-renewal programs of the 1960s, which displaced many African-American families from their homes.
An audio-based software system that helps police departments detect outdoor gunshots remains a mystery in many ways.
When the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, people across the country celebrate by firing guns into the air. For a variety of reasons, it's not clear how many Americans actually do this.
In the time since a Milwaukee Police Department officer shot and killed 23-year-old Sylville Smith on Saturday, August 13, 2016, Wisconsin has played host to a fractured yet familiar story.
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Minister Caliph Muab'El, executive director of Breaking Barriers Mentoring, led over 100 Sherman Park teens to go door-to-door in Milwaukee earlier to peer advise on the subjects of peace and civil unrest. He discusses the unrest in the city and the conditions that contributed to it.
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The underlying anger and tension in some Milwaukee neighborhoods have many believing it was just a matter of time before things hit a boiling point. State Rep. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, talks about the officer-involved shooting, protests and arson in the city's Sherman Park neighborhood.
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Violent protests erupted in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee after an armed black man was shot and killed by police. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett discusses the situation in the city.
Pretty Soon Runs Out
"I mean business today," a Milwaukee woman identified only as Mrs. Taylor tells an official in the Department of City Development. "I've been put off long enough."
ShotSpotter screen view
As cities around the United States struggle to respond to gun violence in neighborhoods where residents may not trust law enforcement, dozens of police departments are turning to a gunshot-detection system called ShotSpotter.
Aerial view of Milwaukee, looking southeast
Although crime, poverty and other social factors often overlap, mapping these factors in Milwaukee shows dramatic divisions that align with the city's racial segregation.