Death Of Milwaukee Man Brings Gun Homicide Total To 32 For 2014

Police, Alderman Dispute Over Whether House Where Man Died Was Known Drug House

There have been 32 gun-related homicides in Wisconsin so far in 2014. Photo: JR (CC-BY).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a Wisconsin Public Radio year-long series tracking all gun-related homicides in Wisconsin.

WPR’s count of gun homicides in Wisconsin this year stands at 32 after the death this week of a Milwaukee man.

Milwaukee police say 32-year-old José Rivera was shot to death around noon on Monday during an apparent drug transaction. Alderman Robert Donovan, who represents the area where the murder took place, contends he told police last year that the home where Rivera died was a drug house. The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) says it does not have a record of complaints of drug activity at the home, and that the district captain may have mistakenly told Donovan that there were complaints.

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The MPD says it also doesn’t have a record of Donovan telling an officer about drug activity at the address during one of the alderman’s neighborhood walks. Donovan says the dispute may be disappointing to volunteer block watch captains concerned about drug houses, but he urges them not to give up their work.

“It’s when good people step away from the problem and disengage – that’s when the bad guys have won,” said Donovan.

Donovan has been pressuring other Milwaukee officials to put more police on the streets. About 120 more officers will be added the ranks this summer.