Violent Protests Rock Milwaukee after Officer-Involved Shooting
- By Sydny Shepard
- Aug 15, 2016
Over the weekend, a police officer shot and killed an armed black man in Milwaukee. The shooting sparked controversy and drove residents to violent protests for two nights in a row.
On Saturday, August 12, police officers pulled over two people for “suspicious activity.” Both people inside the car took off running and, according to the police, one of the suspects had a handgun. The suspect refused to drop the weapon when order to and was turning toward an officer when the officer discharged his weapon and killed the suspect, 23-year-old Sylville Smith.
Both the officer and the suspect who died are black. The officer has been placed on administrative duty during the investigation.
Hours after the shooting, protesters peacefully crowded into the streets. Overnight the gatherings became less peaceful. Protesters burned several stores and threw rocks at police, leaving one officer injured.
On Sunday, following the first night of protests, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urged residents to go home. He asked that they restore peace and clam in the city, but also declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard.
Milwaukee residents did not heed the advice of the mayor, however. Sunday night the protesters convened again, and this time things got worse. Shots were fired in the midst of the gatherings and two people were injured. A police officer was also injured after protesters threw a rock through the windshield of a cruiser.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.