Milwaukee riot follows a police-involved shooting

Gov Scott Walker of Wisconsin had to activate the National Guard in Milwaukee earlier today, following a day of unrest in the city after a police officer shot and killed an armed black man who was said to be fleeing police, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Hundreds of people in an angry crowd Saturday night set fires and threw rocks. One police officer was hospitalized for a head injury he received from a brick that was thrown at him while he was sitting in his patrol car, Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference early Sunday morning. Order was restored by about 3:30 AM, according to a tweet from the Milwaukee police.

Mr Walker praised the volunteers who, on Sunday, worked to clean up the city after the riots. “This act of selfless caring sets a powerful example for Milwaukee’s youth and the entire community,” the New York Times quoted him as saying. “I join Milwaukee’s leaders and citizens in calling for continued peace and prayer.”

But African-American communities are frustrated with police action, especially when it involves shooting black men and despite the fact that this shooting may have been justified because the victim was armed and fleeing from police.

“The black people of Milwaukee are tired,” the Times quoted Alderman Khalif J Rainey as saying. “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.”

We in Baltimore know exactly what he’s talking about. A riot broke out in Baltimore in April 2015 over the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody.

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.