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Hours after police shoot armed man at traffic stop, riots erupt in Milwaukee

The area was reportedly under control at around 2:20am.


April Siese


Posted on Aug 14, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 6:34 am CDT

Hours after Milwaukee police fatally shot an armed man after he fled a traffic stop, demonstrators rioted in the city’s predominantly black north side.

Milwaukee’s north side has seen a rash of violence as of late, with a double homicide occurring just days prior as well as incidents of an increased police presence in the neighborhood.

Protestors set a gas station ablaze along with multiple businesses and vehicles. An officer was sent to the hospital after sustaining injuries from a demonstrator smashing a brick through a squad car window. Others threw rocks at police. Following the hours long incident, three people were arrested.

Authorities stated that the area had been quieting down and returning to normal at around 2:20am. The violent demonstration comes just 24 hours after a string a shootings left five people dead throughout the city, from Friday night to Saturday morning.

Little information has been released about the suspect of the Saturday afternoon incident, whom officers describe as a 23-year-old with a lengthy record. The weapon that the man was carrying as he gave chase was reportedly a stolen semiautomatic handgun obtained in a March robbery 20 miles away in Waukesha. He was reportedly shot twice.

The suspect was traveling with a passenger, who also fled after the vehicle was stopped at around 3:30pm on Saturday. According to police, the officer involved was wearing a body camera and has since been placed on administrative duty.

Update 9:24am CT, Aug. 14: This piece has been updated to clarify that the office is currently on administrative duty and not administrative leave.

Update 3:14pm CT, Aug. 14: According to Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, the suspect has been identified as Sylville K. Smith. Mayor Tom Barrett states that body camera footage confirms that Smith was visibly armed and holding a weapon.

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*First Published: Aug 14, 2016, 11:00 am CDT