As the sunlight touches the Sherman Park, Milwaukee, area on Sunday morning, a clearer picture of the sheer destruction dealt to business and vehicles by unruly crowds after a fatal officer-involved shooting near 44th and Auer last night.
The mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, announced early on that the violence in the north side is calming after the night of protests which left several businesses torched. He spoke at a news conference held at midnight at the District 3 police station at N. 49th St. and W. Lisbon Ave. Mayor Barrett and Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton were left pleading with the Milwaukee public for calm in the wake of the violent protests and have promised a strong police presence in the area in the coming days.
A previous Inquisitr article revealed that the night’s incident in “America’s most segregated city” was spurred by a traffic stop, in which police officers gave foot chase to and fatally shot an armed man as he allegedly attempted to flee. The man’s criminal record was extensive, and he was carrying 500 rounds of ammunition at the time as well as a gun which had been reported stolen in a burglary earlier this year. However, residents were outraged at the killing, as it is an open carry state. Many argue that the suspect shot and killed deserved due process.
One protester spoke to the media the night before and revealed that the people were rallying for the 23-year-old suspect killed because he was a good person. It is estimated that about 200 persons came out to protest.
“He was really respected. That’s why everyone came out. They’re angry.”
The early protesters involved in the disturbances had used social media to encourage others to come and participate in the trouble-making, mostly young people. This prompted the Milwaukee mayor to send out a call urging parents of the youngsters to contain them, especially in a bid to ensure that the violence of last night does not occur again today.
“Our police officers are doing everything they can to restore order. If you love your son, if you love your daughter, text them, call them, pull them by their ears, get them home.”
The confrontation between the officers and civilians lasted for hours and around 10:15 p.m. it was reported that a gas station at N. Sherman Blvd. and W. Burleigh St. had been set on fire, those inside were safely evacuated. Concerns for the safety of firefighters due to the fact that shots were being fired, meant that they were unable to attend the scene and the blazing fire. Several other businesses were set on fire later on as well, including a BMO Harris Bank branch, a beauty supply company, and O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. A news helicopter footage also appeared to show that a small grocery store had been looted.
Several vehicles were also torched and a brick was thrown into a police cruiser, hitting an officer in the head and forcing him to have to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The Milwaukee police had also revealed via tweet that one squad car had its windows smashed while another was set on fire.
According to Fox6 Now, the morning has shined a light on the grim scene of charred remains of the gas station set ablaze the evening before, blackened and smoking gas pumps, burned out cars in the parking lot. and a structure that seems to be crumbling are all that is left there.
The police said that they made three arrests during the initial disturbance. However, the Journal Sentinel revealed that multiple acts of violence spread across the Milwaukee area. Social media users are using the hashtag #MilwaukeeUprising to tell the civilians reason behind the eruption of violence during the protests.
It is thus far unclear whether or not the armed suspect pointed his gun at or fired at the police officers as he attempted to flee the traffic stop. However, the shooting will be investigated by the state, and Barrett announced that the officer responsible for the fatal shooting was wearing a body camera.
Alderman Hamilton has sought to reassure the public that all information regarding the shooting will be released to them as soon as possible. The identity of the Milwaukee police officer who shot and killed the armed man has not been revealed as yet.
[Photo by Gretchen Ehlke / AP Images]