Protests in Milwaukee Turn Violent After a Fatal Officer Shooting


Around 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, two officers stopped a pair of suspects in a car who tried to escape on foot. One of them—a 23-year-old resident of Milwauke—was carrying a semiautomatic handgun. He was fatally shot by one of the officers, while the other man is in custody; and it hasn't been said why the two were stopped in the first place.

Though the suspect was carrying a gun, it's not clear whether he had shot it or pointed the weapon at the officer, or if he'd even threatened to use it in the first place. According to the New York Times, the officer ordered the armed man to drop his weapon; when he didn't comply, the officer fired. The gun, which held 23 rounds, was stolen during a burglary earlier this year. Details about what lead up to the shooting are still emerging.

"Those additional facts will come out in the coming days," USA Today reported Milwaukee Police Assistant Chief Bill Jessup as having said at the scene. The officer involved in the shooting was wearing a body camera, and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said that he believed the camera was on at the time of the shooting.

This comes during a particularly violent weekend in Milwaukee, which saw nine shootings and five murders Friday night into Saturday morning. Hours after the officer-involved shooting on Saturday afternoon, angry residents took to the streets to protest. More than 100 people stood off against dozens of police officers. Not long after a woman, who identified herself as family of the deceased, called on protesters to remain peaceful, violence erupted. Shots were fired from the crowd; the windows of squad cars were broken; cars were set on fire. Flames broke out at a gas station, an auto parts store, a beauty supply company and a bank. Protesters were also violent towards reporters in the area, who were chased, pushed to the ground and punched.

During a media conference, Barrett urged residents of Milwaukee to "do everything they can to help us restore order." Shortly after, Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief James Harpole announced that three arrests have been made in connection to the protests, and that while they have been able to "regain stability," the situation is still very tense.

The names and races of the officer and the deceased suspect have not been released. The 24-year-old officer has been placed on administrative duty pending further investigation.