Milwaukee saw a second night of unrest on Sunday following a fatal police shooting this weekend. Sunday’s protests were smaller and less destructive than the previous night’s, although some violence continued and one person was shot and wounded under unknown circumstances.
The weekend’s demonstrations and rioting were prompted by the police killing of a 23-year-old black man, identified by police as Sylville Smith, on Saturday. Smith ran from police during a traffic stop. Police say he was carrying a gun.
Police Chief Edward Flynn has not identified the officer who shot Smith, but says the officer is black, The Associated Press reports.
Police say Smith had been arrested 13 times before, Chuck Quirmbach of Wisconsin Public Radio reports. The Wisconsin Justice Department is reviewing the shooting.
As we reported, the protests immediately after the shooting were destructive and volatile. Six businesses were set on fire, 17 people were arrested and four police were injured on Saturday, NPR’s David Schaper reports.
Protests on Sunday were “not nearly as large nor as violent,” David says. The AP reports there were some people throwing rocks and construction barriers.
Little is known about the one person who was shot at a protest Sunday evening; police retrieved that victim in an armored vehicle and took him or her to the hospital.
“There were no other reports of injuries and no major destruction of property,” the AP writes.
NPR’s Cheryl Corley reports that authorities are waiting for Smith’s autopsy results, and body camera footage of the shooting has not been released to the public. Meanwhile, the National Guard is on standby if Milwaukee authorities say they need help.
Cheryl reports from Milwaukee:
“In the park not far from where Sylville Smith lost his life, dozens of people gathered earlier in the day for a prayer vigil — and to clean the debris around the gas station that was destroyed Saturday night. An odor of smoke still lingers.
“Sonia Mack, who brought her young daughter to the cleanup, calls it the smell of hopelessness and she says she’s going to conduct a street ministry for the city: ‘That means saying good morning, that means picking up trash like we did. That means praying for people if they want it. That means giving whatever we can to the streets of Milwaukee because the streets are hurting.’
“In a way, it’s a long-standing problem for Milwaukee. Two years ago, the city was rocked by months of protests after an officer shot an killed Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man. In December, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would work with Milwaukee police on reforms.”