Milwaukee Went to Hell Last Night from Mass, Violent Protests

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Unprecedented violence erupted in Milwaukee Saturday night after a police officer killed a man armed with a semiautomatic handgun when he fled after a traffic stop. The police claim two uniformed officers stopped two individuals in a vehicle at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The police did not provide details on why the car was stopped.

During the pursuit, an officer ordered the man to drop his gun and fired when he did not, striking the man in the chest and an arm. The gunman, described by the police as a 23-year-old Milwaukee man with a lengthy arrest record, died at the scene. The name and race of the killed man have not been released as of yet.

However, angry crowds confronted the police in an act of rioting rage, setting fires to cop cars (and to a bankd), as well as throwing rocks at the heads of officers. One police officer was hospitalized with a gruesome head injury after a brick was launched at him through the window of his patrol car, Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference early Sunday morning.

One fire, at a gas station in the Sherman Park neighborhood, burned unattended while gunshots kept firefighters from extinguishing it. Other fires burned at an auto-parts store, a beauty supply company and as mentioned a bank branch.

The police made three arrests on unspecified charges during the mayhem, during which crowds of at least 200 people flooded the streets, said Assistant Chief James Harpole of the Milwaukee police.

Alderman Khalif J. Raney, who also spoke at the same news conference as Mayor Barrett, claimed there was deep rooted frustration in the black community:

“The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They’re tired of living under this oppression. What has happened may not have been right. I’m not justifying that, but nobody can deny that there are racial problems here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that have to be rectified, because if you don’t, you’re one day away.”

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