Milwaukee Sees Second Night of Unrest After Police Shooting

VOA
The northern U.S. city of Milwaukee saw a second night of unrest Sunday with police in riot gear confronting a group of people protesting the killing of a black man by police.

The Milwaukee Police Department said one person was shot during the protests and that they used an armored vehicle to take the victim from the area to a hospital.

Officers ordered people to disperse and reported having rocks and other objects thrown at them. The department also said multiple people were arrested.

Similar protests erupted Saturday night after an officer shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith in the chest and arm after pulling over his car for what authorities described as suspicious behavior.

Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters Sunday that Smith ran several meters from his car before the officer, who is also black, fired his gun. The chief said Smith was armed with a gun and pointed it at the officer.

“It was in his hand. He was raising up with it,” Flynn said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the officer was wearing a body camera during the altercation and that the video will be made public “at the appropriate time.” He said he viewed a still image from the video that clearly showed Smith had a gun in his hand.

Smith’s sister, Kimberly Neal, told The Associated Press the family wants prosecutors to file charges against the officer.

Milwaukee’s police department was also the subject of protests in 2014 after an officer killed a mentally ill, unarmed black man. Last December, the U.S. Justice Department announced it was conducting a review of the department. The listed objectives of the probe include assessing efforts to recruit officers representative of the Milwaukee community, use of force practices, and how officers are trained in conducting traffic stops.

Milwaukee is a city of about 600,000 people. Nearly 40 percent of them African-Americans who are heavily concentrated on the north side.

Smith’s shooting happened in the Sherman Park neighborhood, which is in north Milwaukee. Residents there say the city has been unresponsive to their needs.

Alderman Khalif Rainey, who represents Sherman Park, says Milwaukee’s black residents are “tired of living under this oppression.”

He said he does not condone violence, “but nobody can deny that there are racial problems here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that have to be rectified.”

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