A massive riot erupted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this weekend following another instance in which a young black man was shot by a police officer.
The story spread like wildfire on social media, with agitators claiming that a white police officer had shot a young black man in the back as he ran away. In reality, the police officer was black and his body camera showed the “victim,” 23-year-old Sylville Smith, was drawing a gun on him.
“The individual [Smith] did turn toward the officer with a firearm in his hand,” confirms Milwaukee Chief Edward Flynn, adding that Smith appeared to be “raising up with” the firearm when he was shot.
The encounter began at 3:30pm when Milwaukee police stopped a “suspicious vehicle.” As soon as the car stopped, Smith and a friend immediately jumped out and started running. An un-named black police officer started chasing them, ordering Smith to stand down when he pulled out a stolen pistol. Smith was shot and killed when he did not comply.
Sylville Smith had a “lengthy arrest record,” including a dismissed “reckless endangerment” charge from 2015 when he was involved in a shooting and witness intimidation. The stolen pistol he was carrying was loaded with 23 rounds.
It wasn’t long before Black Lives Matter launched a massive riot in the city, throwing bricks Viat police officers and setting two patrol cars and multiple buildings on fire. Shots were fired at firefighters when they attempted to put out the flames. Three police officers ended up in the hospital, one hit over the head with a brick.
Seventeen people were arrested that night, and nearly 50 shots were fired. Witnesses claim that white bystanders were also attacked. A local newspaper reports that one of its journalists was thrown to the ground and punched – just for being white.
Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke, also black, immediately asked the National Guard for assistance. “We cannot allow for a repeat of what happened [Saturday] night. I am going to utilize all available resources to accomplish that,” he stated.
The National Guard was mobilized the following day, but has not been deployed. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has urged parents to keep their children indoors after dark, but has decided not to utilize the Guard. “I’m hopeful that that will not be necessary,” he said. “But if it is necessary, we will do so.”
“Last night was unlike anything I have seen in my adult life in this city,” continued the mayor. “I’m very proud of the way our police officers and firefighters responded.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has also expressed his admiration for Milwaukee’s citizens, praising the volunteers who turned up on Sunday morning to clean up after the riots: “This act of selfless caring sets a powerful example for Milwaukee’s youth and the entire community. I join Milwaukee’s leaders and citizens in calling for continued peace and prayer.”
Editor’s note: These riots are happening according to someone’s agenda. Clearly there was no actual justification.