Milwaukee: A nighttime curfew for teenagers in the US city of Milwaukee will be strictly enforced police said, following two nights of violence over the fatal police shooting of a black man.
Police in the now relatively calm Midwestern city faced off with protesters in the city’s Sherman Park neighborhood on Saturday and again yesterday after the death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who officials say was armed.
The death angered residents, as it echoes a series of deadly police incidents involving mainly African American suspects.
In the weekend clashes, cars and businesses were set on fire, and gunshots, rocks and bottles were aimed at police.
Fourteen people were arrested yesterday and three police cars were damaged, according to officials.
“There were groups of young people in particular, who were traveling in the streets,” Mayor Tom Barrett told a news conference today.
“Those people, in my mind, were deliberately trying to damage a great neighborhood, in a great city.” The curfew for minors under the age of 18 begins at 10:00 PM, Barrett said.
“We’re going to make sure that there is peace and order restored in this neighborhood,” he told reporters.
Protests first erupted Saturday, when a crowd of about 200 turned violent following the shooting of Smith, who was in a car with another individual when he was stopped by two police officers.
Smith and the other person fled on foot. A black police officer then shot and killed Smith after he failed to drop a gun, according to authorities.
Officials said police body camera video, not yet released to the public, clearly shows that Smith had a gun and had turned around to face the officer when he was shot.
Seven police officers were injured in a second night of violence yesterday that stretched into the early hours today.
Yesterday, there were 30 instances of shots fired, police chief Edward Flynn said. Officers did not return gunfire all night, in a show of “tactical and strategic restraint,” he said. (AFP)
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