Enough is enough with co-sleeping deaths
Alderman Donovan calls for charges in recent infant death
I am calling on prosecutors to bring charges against a Milwaukee mother who last week suffocated her seven-day-old son after drinking alcohol and taking pain pills. In my opinion, when warranted we need to start treating these co-sleeping deaths not as “accidental deaths,” but rather as deaths resulting from neglect and/or abuse.
Unlike our mayor, who thinks we just need a stronger ad campaign and more glossy brochures about safe sleeping environments, I am asking for prosecutorial discretion and common sense when it is found that an infant has died as the result of a parent or caregiver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a co-sleeping situation. Think about it: if a parent falls asleep and their toddler wanders outside and is hit by a car, neglect charges would be filed! Here we have babies dying because of the neglectful behavior of a parent or guardian!
We had 10 co-sleeping deaths in Milwaukee last year – almost one per month – and that is absolutely shameful. In these co-sleeping deaths, it is almost as if the lives of these children don’t matter, and it begs the question – “What is wrong with our society?”
As the father of five children, I know well that there is no job more demanding and more challenging than being a good parent. Parents in need of assistance must reach out for help, and if they need a safe place for their baby to sleep, they need to contact the Health Department for a free crib (286-8620).
Last, there are certain problems in society that government simply cannot solve. However, holding people accountable for their behavior and actions is something that government MUST do, and I am calling for that action now.
We need to do all we can to prevent even one more co-sleeping death in Milwaukee.
Press Releases by Bob Donovan
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan October 25, 2016
Mayor, police chief, Fire and Police Commission members and Council members would be invited to attend
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan---September 7, 2016
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan September 6, 2016
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Statement of Alderman Bob Donovan August 17, 2016