Milwaukee citizens woke up to a city on fire and a community destroyed, after swarms of of angry protesters took to the streets on Saturday, August 13 following the fatal officer-involved shooting of an armed and fleeing black man earlier in the day.

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Confrontations between rioters and officer continued past midnight on the city’s north side, where city leaders, including Mayor Tom Barrett, called for peace amidst the overwhelming chaos.

Officers equipped with riot gear moved in at an intersection shortly after 11 p.m., deminding the dispersal of a crowd of approximately 50 individuals. Rocks and other debris were thrown officers, while others went down and threw rocks at business down the block with protestors leaving behind a bent traffic light and overturned bus benches.


“We have to have calm,” pleaded Mayor Barrett. “There are a lot of really good people who live in this neighborhood.”

Meanwhile, a fire burned for hours at a nearby BP gas station in Sherman Park that firefighters were unable to extinguish, warded off by a continuous string of gunshots in the area.

Fires were also set at a BMO Harris bank branch, an O’Reilly’s auto parts store, as well as a local beauty supply store, with looters not far behind. Firefighters were able to put these out, but not before extensive damage was done.

By end of the night, three people were in police custody, says Barrett. An officer was left injured by a brick thrown at a police car, while another squad car was set on fire.

It was a 23-year old man armed with a semiautomatic weapon who had attempted to flee from police earlier in the day, authorities say.

According to the mayor, the man was stopped by police for “suspicious activity.”

“There were 23 rounds in that gun that that officer was staring at. I want to make sure we don’t lose any police officers in this community, either.”

No further details about the officer, a six-year veteran currently on administrative leave, or the victim were immediately released. The officer was wearing a body camera, however, and the shooting is being actively investigated.

Back in December, the Justice Department rolled out a joint “reform initiative” with Milwaukee’s police department as a means of tackling the long-standing tensions between African-American residents and police officers in the community.

But it seems that those tensions only intensified following the fatal shooting death of 25-year old Jay Anderson, who was killed just last month while sitting in a parked car.

“We understand the frustration people feel with the police community nationally…but we have to be able to restore order to these neighborhoods,” said Ashanti Hamilton, president of the Milwaukee Common Council. “Please participate in restoring order to these neighborhoods.”