Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Twelve infants die in co-sleeping deaths in 10 months in Milwaukee – where is the outrage?!

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan October 8, 2013

By - Oct 8th, 2013 10:21 am

Back in January (see attached), I voiced my outrage about the way we handle cases of co-sleeping deaths involving drugs and/or alcohol. I said, 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.
Not only has my position not changed on this, but today I am calling for prosecutors to take a bold step in this direction, and to publicize cases where neglect or abuse charges in co-sleeping deaths have been filed. The word needs to get out that punishment will come if one contributes directly to a co-sleeping death while under the influence.

Let’s be honest, one can only imagine the outrage if one of these infants died at the hands of Milwaukee police. There would be rallies and marches, and continuous calls for justice.

But because these infants are dying under the watch of those who are charged with their care and safety, there’s nothing to see here. I say where is the justice for these infants?!

We don’t need more restorative justice. We don’t need more hand-holding. We don’t need more parenting classes. We don’t need more free cribs. The answer – what we DO need – is pure and simple: JAIL.

And where is our mayor on this issue? Where are my colleagues on this issue? Frankly, they seem unwilling to address it.

The only local elected official I’ve heard from on this issue is Milwaukee County Supervisor Mark Borkowski.

In Milwaukee we’ve gone from the Ceasefire Sabbath to the Safe Sleeping Sabbath. May I suggest that this community might be better served if we engage in a “New Leadership Sabbath.

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