MILWAUKEE (AP) — Simmering anger over the fatal shooting of a man by police erupted in violence on Milwaukee’s predominantly black north side, with protesters skirmishing with officers over several hours and setting fire to at least four businesses in an outburst the mayor says was fed by social media.
The uprising that broke out Saturday evening didn’t subside until after midnight, after Mayor Tom Barrett and other city leaders appeared at a news conference to plead for calm. Police said three people were arrested, and one officer was hurt by a brick thrown into a squad car.
The triggering event came Saturday afternoon, when a man fleeing police after a traffic stop was shot and killed. Police said the man was armed, but it wasn’t clear whether he was pointing the gun or aiming it at officers. Barrett said the man was hit twice, in the chest and arm.
Neither his race nor the officer’s was immediately released, nor were they identified.
The protesters were largely black, and Alderman Khalif Rainey — who represents the district — said early Sunday morning that the city’s black residents are “tired of living under this oppression.”
“This entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the entire country,” Rainey said at the end of a news conference at which Barrett pleaded for calm. “Now this is a warning cry. Where do we go from here? Where do we go as a community from here?