Milwaukee Protests Intensify in Second Night, Shots Fired
Protests erupted in Milwaukee for a second night following the shooting of a black man, Sylville Smith, 23. Officials have reiterated that the man was armed.
The shooting occurred when a pair of police officers stopped Smith and another person in a car on Saturday about 3:30 p.m., police said, as reported by CNN. The men fled the car and the officers followed, shooting Smith in the arm and chest when he failed to put his gun down. Authorities said Smith was carrying a semiautomatic handgun with 23 rounds in the clip. Wisconsin is an open carry state.
CNN reports that according to police, at least two people were injure after shots were fired and objects were thrown early this morning (Aug. 15). One victim was shot and was rushed to the hospital during the protest and a police officer was also injured after a rock crashed through a squad car windshield, according to Milwaukee police. However, the damage was not as extensive as it was the previous night (Aug. 14).
Following Smith's death on Saturday, Aug. 13, protests ignited and according to CNN, protesters torched six businesses, burned cars and threw rocks at officers, leading to four officers being injured and 17 arrests.
Protests continued Sunday and went on into early Monday morning, as protesters gathered at the police station, blocking the street. Shots rang out at three different locations as the protest went on, all within close proximity to the station. A squad car was pelted with bricks, rocks and glass bottles and another car was set on fire early Monday morning.
Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency on Sunday but the National Guard has still not been deployed yet, as police attempt to get things under control. City Alderman Khalif Rainey said the area has been a "powder keg" for potential violence throughout the summer, due to continued racial tensions.
"What happened tonight may not have been right and I am not justifying that but no one can deny the fact that there are problems, racial problems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that need to be rectified," Rainey said. "This community of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the entire country."
He continued by saying the brewing conflict and racial tensions must be addressed.
"Something has to be done to address these issues," he said. "The black people of Milwaukee are tired; they are tired of living under this oppression, this is their life."