- Eric Toney advocates granting the DOJ original prosecution authority in Milwaukee to combat rising crime rates.
- The state’s violent crime rate has increased about 12% since 2009, and property crime has dropped nearly 48% in Milwaukee.
- Violent crime is the second biggest concern in Wisconsin, followed by a concern surrounding property crime. However, both violent and non-violent crime rates are above the state average.
- The Milwaukee Police Association slammed Josh Kaul for putting “safety at the bottom” of his list, ultimately deciding to endorse Fond du Lac County DA Eric Toney.
“If we protect Milwaukee, we will protect all of Wisconsin,” Eric Toney said at a press conference just a few feet from the intense police chase that abruptly ended with gunshots and fatality.
“That is why I have advocated for granting our attorney general original prosecution authority in Milwaukee so we can take on the crime that they’re unable to.”
AG Josh Kaul released a statement in response to Toney’s suggestion, “There’s no need to limit that just to Milwaukee. I think anywhere our DOJ can play a bigger role in making sure we protect public safety; we should be doing that.”
Although Kaul seems to be avoiding that Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest and most dangerous city, topping the charts concerning crime rates, violent crimes within Milwaukee remain staggeringly high. The state’s violent crime rate has increased about 12% since 2009, and property crime has dropped nearly 48% in Milwaukee.
Violent Crime Continues to Rise in Milwaukee
Violent crime is the second biggest concern in Wisconsin, followed by a concern surrounding property crime. However, both violent and non-violent crime rates are above the state average.
Leaders within Milwaukee have suggested increasing the sales tax by 1% to boost revenue to fund law enforcement and the fire department, amongst other departments required for public safety. Eric Toney has yet to release his opinion regarding the increased sales tax, but he is making strides toward a safer and more secure state.
Toney stated, “We have a budget surplus, and that’s going to be an issue the Legislature will have to address, and I am going to work with them to make sure Milwaukee has those resources. The Governor has the ability right now, with American Rescue Act funds, to help put more money into Milwaukee.”
Kaul argued that one-time ARPA funds wouldn’t be a long-term solution to aiding police departments. Current AG Josh Kaul also attempted to pass a $115 million “A Safer Wisconsin” package in 2021. The package was said to help “Strengthen community trust and prevent crime.”
Kaul’s “Safer Wisconsin” Included Questionable Elements
Josh Kauls’ 2021 package would have also authorized judges to issue extreme risk protection orders, AKA red flag laws. Many Americans and lawmakers have problems with red flag laws being inherently unconstitutional. Extreme Risk Protection Orders violate the right to procedural due process, going against the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
Residents of Wisconsin deserve the right to due process. Word of mouth is not legitimate enough to seize legally acquired and possessed firearms from law-abiding citizens without notice. Temporary ERPOs may be issued, and guns may be confiscated by law enforcement without notice to the respondents or a chance to appear at a hearing.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which Kaul favors, would direct targeted individuals to surrender their license to possess/carry a gun and any firearms/weapons they possess, control, or own if they’ve been reported as a risk.
His 115-million-dollar plan to prevent crime included targeting law-abiding gun owners and stripping them of their rights. ERPOs are ripe for abuse, with many republican lawmakers across the United States sharing the same opinion, including Eric Toney.
Toney’s campaign website openly states, “I oppose red flag laws. These laws restrict people’s lawful right to exercise their constitutional Second Amendment rights. Wisconsin has laws that guarantee due process rights for any firearm restrictions. We can’t legislate our way to safety on this issue, and it will only serve to impede law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights.”
Wisconsin Law Enforcement Supports Eric Toney
The Milwaukee Police Association stated that the current AG (Kaul) had overseen cuts to all the areas that are key to community safety. The Milwaukee Police Association slammed Josh Kaul for putting “safety at the bottom” of his list, ultimately deciding to endorse Fond du Lac County DA Eric Toney. The MPA refers to it as a “life and death decision.”
Eric Toney commented on the MPA’s choice to support him, “Our homicide rate is on pace for another record year after it already doubled in 2020. Police officers are doing their part with what they have. We need an AG who does his part as well. Milwaukee’s homicide epidemic is bleeding into the rest of the state.”
President of the MPA, Andrew Wagner, stated, “These offices and every officer out there is seeing an increase in violent crime. They have been extended. They have had their off days canceled on short notice, and they are attempting to do much more with fewer resources.”
Homicides in Milwaukee are reaching new record-breaking heights, and these violent crimes are undoubtedly stressing law enforcement and their resources.
“As we saw our staffing level fall, we saw an increase in violent crime around the city,” said Andrew Wagner. Milwaukee County saw around 53,719 offenses in 2021, according to the Wisconsin DOJ. Numbers were drastically lower in other counties, such as 14,016 in Dane County, 4,909 in Brown County, and 4,162 in Waukesha County.
Toney, backed by Milwaukee’s police union and over 100 police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys, says he intends to increase resources for Milwaukee police and support their needs.
The MPA describes Toney’s vast experience, commenting, “The son of a 30-year retired WI Deputy Sheriff, DA Toney has experience working at the intersection of the community and the law, working as a District Attorney and private attorney who worked for justice for his clients. DA Toney has led the fight to change laws endangering our communities. He has successfully worked with local officials, state legislature, and the Governor to change state law to prevent violent sex offenders from being dumped all over the state of Wisconsin.”
Eric Toney has clarified that Wisconsin’s safety and law enforcement are at the top of his to-do list. He stated, “Families live in fear of violent crime due to an attorney general playing politics with public safety. I will be a strong partner with the MPA and fight to ensure they have all the tools and resources needed to protect Milwaukee’s residents. As the son of a cop, I have witnessed firsthand the sacrifices MPA members make every day and understand the overwhelming majority of our officers would give up their lives to keep us safe. They’ve earned our support and deserve an AG that won’t turn their back on the law.”