Jeramey Jannene

Downtown Curfew Instituted, Bucks Watch Party Canceled

Mass shooting triggers two-night curfew for individuals under 21, Bucks cancel Deer District party.

By - May 14th, 2022 03:42 pm
Crime Scene Tape. (CC0 Public Domain)

Crime Scene Tape. (CC0 Public Domain)

There will be no aerial shots of fans packing the plaza outside Fiserv Forum when the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon.

The team canceled the watch party after 21 people were shot in three separate nearby incidents following Friday night’s home game.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson also announced an 11 p.m. curfew for individuals under the age of 21 for a portion of Downtown. The area impacted stretches from W. McKinley Ave and E. Knapp St. on the north to E. State St. on the south and from N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. to N. Broadway. It encompasses the Water Street and Old World Third bar districts as well as a series of other buildings, including at least two college residence halls.

The curfew comes after each of the shootings involved an individual not old enough to go into the adjoining bars. One of the problems identified last year during a surge in late-night downtown violence was crowds of people gathering in the bar districts with no intention of going into the bars.

“To put it simply, if you intend to loiter, if you intend to act out, cut up, if you intend to do anything that is unlawful, then my message is simple: Don’t come here,” said Johnson at a press conference held Sunday at Red Arrow Park.

The biggest shooting occurred at 11:09 p.m on the 1100 block of N. Water St., the south end of the bar district. The Milwaukee Police Department reports 17 people were shot, including five with weapons. Ten people were taken into police custody from the incident and 10 firearms were recovered. Victims’ ages ranged from 15 to 47.

Those taken into custody ranged in age from 19 to 30 and came from two different groups.

“It will not be tolerated,” said Johnson. But one of the shootings had yet to yield an arrest or public suspect by the time of the afternoon press conference.

All of the shooting victims are expected to live.

“In order to allow law enforcement to devote needed resources to the continued investigation of last night’s events, we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s planned watch party on the plaza. Deer District businesses will remain open as usual. We continue to work with the Milwaukee Police Department and other public safety partners to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our fans. We plan to have further details soon,” said the Bucks in announcing the cancelation.

The curfew has exemptions for government employees, emergency service providers, utility service providers, medical providers, social services providers, media members, homeless individuals, individuals fleeing “dangerous domestic situations” and those seeking medical care. It expires at 5:30 a.m. Sunday and Monday mornings.

The three shootings all occurred in the blocks immediately east of Fiserv Forum and the Deer District entertainment complex. The Bucks hosted a sellout crowd inside the arena and planned to allow up to 11,000 people to watch the game outside the arena. The two bar districts also drew large crowds as a result of the game and warm weather.

Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 hired a nightlife consultant in 2021 to study options for the district. Representatives from Kansas City, Memphis and New Orleans presented their strategies in August to Milwaukee officials including metal detectors, age requirements and anti-loitering rules.

No major changes have been implemented in Milwaukee, but a large surface parking lot on the 1200 block of N. Water St. remains fenced off to deter loitering and prevent large crowds from forming. Portions of N. Water St. and E. Juneau Ave. are also regularly closed to motor vehicle traffic late on weekend nights. The city established a late-night no-parking zone around the bar districts in 2021 and aggressively towed violators in an attempt to disrupt loitering.

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More about the Bar District Shootings

Read more about Bar District Shootings here

Categories: Public Safety

One thought on “Downtown Curfew Instituted, Bucks Watch Party Canceled”

  1. tornado75 says:

    thanks to the bucks for acting responsibly.

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