A productive response to injustice is needed in wake of gas station shooting
Statement of Alderman Khalif J. Rainey July 22, 2016
This week in the 7th Aldermanic District, we have witnessed members of the community who were justifiably upset take action and protest at the corner of N. Sherman Boulevard and W. Burleigh Street. Their protests are a response to the actions of a gas station clerk who fired a gun into the air to disperse a crowd of teenagers who gathered at the gas station.
The gas station clerk has now been criminally charged, in addition to being fired from his job. There is no denying it—the action of the gas station clerk was unacceptable. Business owners should do more than just rake in a profit. They have an obligation to respect and contribute positively to the communities in which they operate.
Community members who are protesting this gas station can further their efforts by engaging with the legal process that governs its operation. Like all gas stations in Milwaukee, this establishment is licensed to operate, and that license regularly comes up for renewal and review. If these community members take part in that process, attend hearings and make their opinions known, they will have a real chance to hold the owners accountable for their actions.
Furthermore, this is not the only injustice in our community that is in need of a remedy. At this very same intersection on March 17, a respected elder in our community—82-year-old Abbas Yasin—was assaulted and killed by a young man after a confrontation on a Milwaukee County bus. There is still a reward available for information about the perpetrator of this cowardly attack, but police need more cooperation from the community.
We need people in our community who will protest injustice and seek its end. But the crusade should follow injustice wherever it occurs, whoever is responsible.
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