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Community activists say lack of trust exists between police, residents as gun violence surges

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    MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — Violence has spiked in Milwaukee, and police say the spike is occurring sooner than normal.

Police said 300 shots were fired at a gathering at the Midtown Center Sunday, May 2, injuring two people.

The acting chief said he’s hopeful someone will come forward with more information.

But community activists said there’s a larger trust issue to be worked on.

Nobody said a word, people that pulled these triggers went home, woke up this morning and nobody said anything,” said Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.

He said that’s a problem, and Acting Chief Jeffrey Norman echoed the concern.

“I might be frustrated but I’m hopeful, it’s still early in the investigation,” said Norman.

But activists said there’s a larger issue at stake here — trust.

There’s a problem with the community and police relations, people are scared, people are scared, frustrated,” said Activist Tracey Dent.

He said trust has eroded over a long time.

“The police department needs to work closely with the community leaders,” said Dent.

Milwaukee Community Collaborative Commission Chair Nate Hamilton said people also want to know they’re going to be treated respectfully. Milwaukee police are under a settlement agreement to improve racial disparities.

“We have to know our police are going to show up and handle the situation appropriately, are going to treat people with the most utmost respect as well,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton’s commission is working with MPD and the Fire and Police Commission to reform policing. He said both police and the community need to meet in the middle.

“We’re asking both sides to show a little love to their responsibility in this city,” said Hamilton.

No arrests have been made in the shooting at Midtown Center so far.

Police said they’re working with the property owner to make further security improvements.

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