While the situation in Boystown keeps getting a bit crazier and more depressing, Milwaukee experienced mob violence in the Riverwest neighborhood on Monday evening. In the incidents, about 22 teenagers looted a BP convenience store, prior to about 11 people being assaulted and robbed in Reservoir Park. With this incident, there is surveillance video footage from the store posted online for people to possibly help identify the suspects. As of yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that eight teenagers have turned themselves in, although another article from the Journal Sentinel says that on Wednesday four teenagers had been cited for disorderly conduct, theft, and curfew violation after their mothers called the Milwaukee police. (For a perspective from a mother that reported her children, Milwaukee’s ABC affiliate, WISN, spoke to one*.)
Today, charges were made against one person in connection to the Boystown stabbing. A longer window of time has elapsed between Sunday’s stabbing and a person being charged than the incident in Riverwest and seven people being charged. There are quite a few differences between the incidents, including that Riverwest residents haven’t started a Facebook page, there are two different police forces involved here, and Milwaukee is a little more than a fourth the size of Chicago. Another interesting aspect is that with the Milwaukee violence, both Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett were present at a community meeting and addressed the crowd.
Although my mother and sister live in the Milwaukee area and I visit there frequently, I know very little about Riverwest and among the things I do know, I can tell you that Lakefront Brewery has a lager named after the neighborhood. I can tell you more about the climate in Boystown because I used to patronize some businesses in that area. But first, a discussion on identity.