Milwaukee residents riot and attack white people after an armed black man was killed by a police officer, turns out the officer was black
Police said a 23 year old man identified as Sylville K. Smith and another man were pulled over about 3:30 p.m. Saturday for a traffic stop because the vehicle seemed suspicious, but the two men fled when the officer approached them, prompting the officer a 24-year-old with six years of experience give a foot chase. During the chase, Smith and his friend split, and Smith ran to a fenced area, when he realized he may be cornered, he pulled out a stolen semi-automatic handgun, but the police officer shot him dead.
The initial story that made the rounds was that Smith was shot in the back as he ran away from the officer, but the police and autopsy reports say he was shot in the arm and chest.
Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters Sunday that Smith died at the scene, and a second 23-year-old man was taken into custody. There was no evidence that Smith fired his weapon, which was loaded with 23 bullets, the chief said. The police officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave.
After the shooting, violence erupted on the city’s predominantly black north side, an area with a history of violence and distrust between police and the community.
Flynn said four officers were hurt. One police officer is in the hospital after a brick was thrown through his squad car in the unrest that followed the shooting and a 16-year-old girl was hit by what was thought to be crossfire, suffering non-life-threatening injuries. He said 17 people were arrested, most for civil disobedience but four on burglary charges.
Six private businesses were burned, and seven squad cars were damaged. Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters Sunday. A reporter and a photographer from the Journal Sentinel were chased from the scene and assaulted by someone in the crowd, the paper reported
A gas station was set on fire about 10 p.m., police said, but firefighters could not reach the site because of gunfire.
Assistant Police Chief James Harpole said there were three people who were in the gas station when it was set ablaze, and all were able to safely escape with the help of community members, police said.
Fires were also started at businesses including a bank, a beauty supply company and an auto parts store, according to Milwaukee TV station WISN. By 2 a.m., a supermarket and a liquor store also had been set on fire, the station reported.
Rioters can be heard chanting “black power” and "black lives matter" in a video at the scene of one of the riots.
The Police Chief, Flynn during a press conference on Sunday, revealed that the police officer involved in the shooting was a black male officer but his name was not revealed for security reason giving the first details of a traffic stop that led to a death, then a night of protest and violence.
City officials pleaded with parents to help prevent a repeat of the violence Sunday. “Tell kids to stay away from this area,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Let’s calm things down.” He said there were no plans for a curfew but that one would be enforced if needed
A woman identifying herself as Smith’s mother told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that police have offered her little information about her son’s killing.
“My son is gone due to the police killing my son,” Mildred Haynes told the paper Sunday. “I am lost.”
Smith's father, Patrick Smith, said he blames himself for his son's death.
'When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get. 'Being on the street, doing things of the street life: Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like "he’s doing all these things".
'I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail and they see those things so I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to.
'Now somebody got killed reaching for his wallet, but now they can say he got a gun on him and they reached for it. And that’s justifiable,' Patrick Smith told FOX 6.
Governor of the state, Gov. Scott Walker released a statement Sunday afternoon saying he had activated the Wisconsin National Guard to “aid local law enforcement upon request." Police officials, however, said they did not need the help. Flynn said an extra 150 officers were on duty Sunday.
In his statement, the governor commended volunteers who went to the neighborhood to clean up:
“This act of selfless caring sets a powerful example for Milwaukee’s youth and the entire community. I join Milwaukee’s leaders and citizens in calling for continued peace and prayer.”
“It is also important for citizens to know that Wisconsin is the first state in the nation to have a law requiring an independent investigation anytime there is a shooting by a law enforcement officer that leads to a death,” the statement added.
Authorities said no law enforcement officers discharged weapons overnight, but there was widespread shooting in the area. Police said rioters damaged seven squad cars and that a military-style police vehicle was hit by eight rounds of gunfire. The four injured officers were treated and released, police said.
There is still another night of rioting again Sunday with one person shot.
Several videos show white drivers being stopped in the middle of the street and the “protesters” attempting to pull them out of their vehicles.
“They’re beating every white person!” one of the agitators shouted in the video. “They jumpin’ every white person.”. They saw a man driving and said.."Is he white? Beat his ass!"