October 26, 2016

Milwaukee shooting: ‘Shots fired’ at new protests over police killing

Police took one shooting victim to hospital in the latest violence

Shots have been fired during new protests in the US city of Milwaukee, police say, as demonstrators took to the streets for a second night.
Protests erupted on Saturday hours after Sylville Smith, 23, was shot dead in a police chase.
Mayor Tom Barrett said Smith, an African-American, did not drop a gun he was holding when told to do so.
Police said they used an armoured vehicle to rescue a shooting victim on Sunday night.
A crowd also threw objects at police, officials said.
On Saturday night, cars and buildings, including a petrol station, were set on fire in the city in the state of Wisconsin.
The clashes come after demonstrations over police violence against the black community in several US cities in the past two years.
One officer was hit on the head when a brick was thrown through a police car window on Saturday.
Police said Smith fled from a car after being stopped by police in traffic on Saturday afternoon; he died from his injuries at the scene.
Smith had a “lengthy arrest record”, police said on Sunday. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper reported he had been charged over a shooting and witness intimidation, charges that were eventually dropped.
Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn did not say what prompted officers to stop Smith’s car, saying only that he was “behaving suspiciously”.
Footage of the shooting was captured by a body camera worn by the officer who fired the shots, who was himself black.
On Sunday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made the National Guard available to Milwaukee police should more violence occur later in the day.
Khalif Rainey, who represents the area where the violence hit on Milwaukee’s city council, said people were “tired of living under this oppression” in a city that is 40% black.
“Now this is a warning cry,” he added. “Where do we go from here? Where do we go as a community from here?”
In 2014, police shot dead an unarmed black man, Dontre Hamilton, in Milwaukee, leading to protests in the city. Prosecutors chose not to charge the officer responsible.
In December, the US Justice Department said it would carry a full review of Milwaukee’s police department, at its request, to look into areas for improvement.
Mayor Tom Barrett called for restraint, and understanding towards Smith’s family. “A young man lost his life yesterday afternoon,” he said. “And no matter what the circumstances are, his family has to be hurting.”

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