Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beating Of Mayor Barrett Leaving State Fair Is Serious Situation

The beating of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as he left State Fair in West Allis Saturday night is a troubling, unacceptable and extremely serious matter, though if early reports are accurate that he was alert at the scene, an episode mercifully less serious for the Mayor and his family than could have been.

Regardless: no one leaving State Fair - - and I know this because my wife and I usually go once or twice to the fair each year, park in the surrounding neighborhood and give absolutely 0% concern there for our safety - - should fear being caught up in such a violent altercation at or near the fairgrounds.

Don't fault Barrett for declining his security detail to go to the fair.

Having worked for former Mayor John Norquist, I know that mayors often travel without security if they are going out to a movie, to dinner, or to friends' homes, and I am sure the Barretts considered walking around State Fair a routine family summer outing just a few minutes from their west side home.

Give Barrett credit for calling 911 in answer to someone's call for help; the attacker apparently turned his attention and metal pipe away from a female victim towards the Mayor.

I'm sure the first victim can ID the pipe-wielding fool, who will end up where he belongs - - in prison.

Our prayers go out to Tom and his family.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you James. However, I believe that a public figure who attends a crowded venue such as the State Fair or Summerfest (even though that factor is not totally relevant to Tom's beating last night) should have bodyguard protection. Small, more intimate and private events probably would not require police protection for the Mayor or other well-known public officials.

enoughalready said...

I agree with Anonymous. At least a discreet, one or two person security detail (bodyguard(s), with radio capability to nearby available back-up) would seem appropriate for such a public venue. In light of the beating, I can't imagine a change wont be made.

I guess Mayor Barrett wasn't kidding when he said just the other day that he doesn't back down from a fight!

Also, I found the national headlines misleading. In our current political climate, I fear readers were led to believe the attack was politically motivated. How about "Mayor hit with pipe" or "Mayor becomes victim of attack?"

The confusion was cleared up quickly and easily enough, of course, when one read the account, and maybe could not have been avoided. I don't know. Got our attention, that's for sure.