The Mayor Asks The Wrong Question
Last week, 21-year-old Reginald Evans was executed inside a George Webb's restaurant after he tried to calm down a disturbance involving unruly patrons. At a press conference held in the aftermath of the shooting, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett "questioned how the suspect, as a felon, was able to get a gun"?
Here's the question the Mayor really should be asking though: why was the shooter on the streets in the first place?
The inconvenient truth that so many of the political class in Milwaukee fail to acknowledge is that our revolving door system of justice is simply not working - and innocent people are dying because of this failure.
Authorities allege the shooter was a 28-year-old career criminal named Delorean Bryson. Here's a quick summary of what public records say about Mr. Bryson since he became an adult:
Bryson was charged with his first felony in 2004 (age 19) for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. As a sentence, he received 6 months in the House of Correction with work release privileges.
In November of 2006, he was charged with stealing a car. This time, he received an 18 month prison sentence (which was stayed) and 120 days in the House of Correction.
In December of 2007, he was charged with possion of marijuana and obstructing an office. The penalty for this? 5 months in the House of Corrction - sentence stayed.
Between May of 2010 and April of 2011,Bryson was charged three times with disorderly conduct. All charges were dismissed.
Finally, on May 9, 2012 Bryson was charged with ID theft. His sentence? Two years in prison - stayed in favor of 120 days in jail with work release privileges and two years probation.
Now Bryson is looking at life in prison without possibility of parole. How did that latest probation sentence work out?
I guess it's fair to wonder where Bryson got the gun he allegedly used in the murder? To paraphrase Hillary Clinton however. what difference does this make? Regardless of whether Bryson borrowed the gun or stole it or purchased it on the black market or at a gun show, he simply shouldn't have been out in the first place.
At the very least, if Bryson had done at least SOME prison time while amassing multiple felonies, perhaps he would have thought twice before pulling the trigger. Unfortunately, everything about the way the criminal justice system handled this guy over the last nine years though screams "NO CONSEQUENCES".
It's trendy in criminal justice circles today to try to find ways to avoid locking people up. This satisfies those in the community who argue that we're locking up too many of this type or that type of person. The problem is that not locking up people who repeatedly commit crimes doesn't work.
And innocent people become victims.
And the Mayor should know that.