Violent protests erupt in Milwaukee

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Following a night of violence that left half a dozen businesses in flames, the Milwaukee police chief expressed surprise at the level of unrest that erupted after the fatal shooting of a black man by a black officer.

“This was, quite frankly, unanticipated,” Chief Edward Flynn said Monday, two days after the worst of the rioting hit the Sherman Park neighborhood on the city’s economically depressed and largely black north side.

The chief’s statement raised questions about whether authorities could have taken steps to curb the violence, perhaps by sharing details of the shooting earlier, including the officer’s race or footage from his body camera.

The city was calmer on Monday evening, Flynn said at a press conference after a 10 p.m. curfew went effect. Six arrests were made early Monday evening after some “heated confrontations” but there was no destruction of property or rioting, he said. The situation seemed to calm down after the arrests, Flynn said. A curfew for those under the age of 18 appeared to work well with the aid of community leaders and parents, Barrett said.

The problems began Saturday afternoon when police stopped a rental car that was driving suspiciously, Flynn said. Sylville Smith bolted from the car with a gun, leading an officer on a short foot chase before the officer shot the 23-year-old. Police said the man was fleeing a traffic stop but released few other details. (AP)

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