Saturday afternoon, a Milwaukee policeman killed a man fleeing the scene after a “suspicious vehicle” stop. Police released a statement (below). The two men fled in opposite directions. An officer shot and killed a 23-year old man. According to police, the man had a “lengthy arrest record.” He was found with a stolen gun.
Mayor Tom Barrett later described the incident: the policeman “ordered that individual to drop his gun. The individual did not drop his gun, held the gun. Or I shouldn’t say I don’t know that for a fact, but had the gun with him, and the officer fired several times.” The mayor said that the officer was wearing a body camera, and it was functioning properly. (transcript below)
According to police, three people were arrested in the riots. The official police statement said that the scene was “contained.”
But just after 9:00, a crowd nearby threw bricks at police cars and set vehicles on fire. Police claim one officer was injured when a brick was thrown through a police car window. In the next few hours, at least five businesses caught fire and a gas station burned to the ground.
A gas station was torched, then other businesses burned including a beauty supply store and an auto parts store. A building that contained a supermarket caught fire later some 20 blocks away. The supermarket was not immediately tied to the other incidents.
While the gas station burned, EX414, a video streamer went live on the internet for hours. On the video, the crowd appeared to be over 100 people, mostly calm, occasionally running. some were chanting “black power” at times. Gun fire sounds could be heard on the video. The cameraman attributed shots to being fired “in the air” every time. Police were not directly on the scene.
The cameraman noted that the clerk at the gas station would no longer be chasing people away.
A woman off camera declared, “Look how many black people are sticking up for the community. It’s a revolution.”
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that its journalists were chased and one was assaulted:
At one point, the officers got in their cars to leave and some in the crowd started smashing the windows and side of a squad car. Another vehicle was set on fire. As officers returned to the scene, this time many more in riot gear, as many as seven could be heard about 8:45 to 9 p.m.
The shots appeared to be fired in the air by someone in the crowd.
Soon thereafter, the crowd turned on and chased reporters and a photographer from the Journal Sentinel. One reporter was shoved to the ground and punched.
There has been no word yet on releasing the body camera video. While the details of this current incident are not yet clear, people in Milwaukee may still be angry over the 2014 police shooting of Dontre Hamilton. After an investigation, no charges were filed. However, the federal government is still assessing the MPD. A “listening session” of “police abuse” stories occurred in March. A mother describes the scene outside her home:
“I come out and I just see my child on the ground with a man on his back, cuffs to him, gun on his head, head on the ground,” Sanders said. “This is the second time he’s been accosted on his own property doing nothing but chores. He was shoveling snow a year ago and they pulled up on him saying he fit the description of a burglary suspect. He didn’t want to go back outside after that.”
Now, there is a black man killed and a police officer in the hospital.
OFFICIAL POLICE STATEMENT
Armed Suspect Shot, Killed by MPD Officer
August 13th, 2016 by milwaukeepolice
A Milwaukee Police officer shot and killed an armed suspect fleeing from a car on Milwaukee’s North Side.
The incident began when two uniformed MPD officers stopped two suspects in a car in the 3200 block of N. 44th Street at about 3:30 p.m. on August 13. Shortly after stopping the suspects, both occupants fled from the car on foot. The officers pursued the suspects, and during the foot pursuit one officer shot one suspect, armed with a semiautomatic handgun, in a yard also in the 3200 block of N. 44th Street. The suspect died from his injuries at the scene.
The suspect is a 23-year-old Milwaukee man with lengthy arrest record. The handgun he was armed with was taken in a burglary in Waukesha in March of this year. The victim of that burglary reported 500 rounds of ammunition were also stolen with the handgun.
The officer is a 24-year-old, male, assigned to MPD’s District 7. He has six years of service with MPD, three years as an officer. He was not injured and, as is standard practice, will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation and subsequent review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.
The Milwaukee Police Department has contained the scene and, pursuant to State Law, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation has been contacted to lead the investigation.
STATEMENT BY MAYOR TOM BARRETT
Police spotted a suspicious vehicle and they stopped the vehicle. As they stopped the vehicle, two individuals fled from the vehicle. One started heading west, the second one started heading east. A Milwaukee police officer with six years experience started chasing the individual who was running to the east.
He ordered that individual to drop his gun. The individual did not drop his gun, held the gun. Or I shouldn’t say I don’t know that for a fact, but had the gun with him, and the officer fired several times. The individual was hit in the chest and hit in the arm. He was hit by two bullets, one in the chest, one in the arm. That individual, a 23-year old man, has died.
The officer was wearing a body camera. It is my understanding that the body camera was operating. Because it involved the Milwaukee Police and because an individual was killed, the investigation is being led by the State of Wisconsin.