Police said one person was shot at a Milwaukee protest on Sunday and officers used an armored vehicle to retrieve the injured victim and rush the person to a hospital, as tense skirmishes erupted for a second night following the police shooting of a black man.The National Guard is ready to take the streets, if needed.
Some two dozen officers in riot gear confronted about 150 people who blocked an intersection near where the black man was fatally shot Saturday afternoon, and more arrived. Police moved in to try to disperse the crowd and warned of arrests after protesters threw bottles and rocks at police.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker put Wisconsin's National Guard on standby, and 125 Guard members reported to local armories to prepare for further instructions. Milwaukee police tweeted late Sunday that the National Guard had not been deployed.Meanwhile, the local alderman is complaining:
Six businesses were burned in the unrest earlier in the weekend and 17 people people were arrested, [Milwaukee Police Chief Edward] Flynn said. Four officers were hurt from flying concrete and glass, although all of them had been released from hospital.
Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey, who represents the neighborhood that erupted, said the city's black residents are "tired of living under this oppression."Uh, Alderman Rainey? Aren't you part of the oppression? If the community wants to get someplace better, perhaps getting a better alderman would help.
"Now this is a warning cry. Where do we go from here? Where do we go as a community from here?" he asked.
As always, the fog of war is in evidence. What's been striking thus far is comparing the response to this incident with what has happened recently here. There's been almost no reportage or new information about the Philando Castile case and it's been essentially quiet for a month now. Perhaps things will go silent in Milwaukee as well, but I'm guessing not. One difference in this case will be the involvement of David Clarke, the Milwaukee County sheriff, who loves to be on television. How much Clarke can actually do is questionable, as the line of responsibility between municipal and county law enforcement is murky.
For his part, the dead man, Sylville Smith, sounds like a charmer:
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said Smith had been arrested 13 times. Online court records showed a range of charges against Smith, many of them misdemeanors.And that anecdote neatly encapsulates the problem in many cities. Victims of crimes are afraid to come forward and police aren't trusted. I don't know how you get out of the box.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Smith was also charged in a shooting and was later charged with pressuring the victim to withdraw testimony that identified Smith as the gunman. The charges were dropped because the victim recanted the identification and failed to appear in court, Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern told the newspaper.