Culture

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Activates The National Guard After Milwaukee Protests

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On Saturday night, protesters took to the streets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after another deadly shooting by a police officer, who reportedly killed a 23-year-old suspect who fled during a Saturday afternoon traffic stop. The evening ended with several vehicles reduced to their shells after protesters set fire to a gas station, and a total of six businesses sustained damage. The officer involved in the incident was placed on administrative duty pending an investigation.

During a press conference, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett noted that the officers who conducted the traffic stop wore body cameras. The footage has not yet been released, but ABC News now reports that Bartlett “saw a still image that demonstrated the individual was armed.” Police Chief Edward Flynn viewed the body cam video, in which he says the officer’s conduct appeared lawful and as if the suspect held a gun. However, the audio on the video was delayed, so Flynn couldn’t determine when the officer fired at the suspect: “I’m looking at a silent movie that doesn’t necessarily tell me everything that will come out in a thorough investigation. You know the fog of war. You know first reports are frequently wrong or slightly off.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declined to comment on case specifics but hopes the public will remain patient during the investigation. He also stated, “I hope people will give law enforcement the respect they deserve for working so hard to keep us safe.” And on Sunday afternoon, Walker activated the National Guard. Mayor Bartlett told NBC News that the 100 National Guardsmen won’t be deployed unless police give the word:

“I’m hopeful that that will not be necessary. But if it necessary, we will do so … This is still a volatile situation. I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight.”

Police are expected to patrol in pairs throughout the evening in Milwaukee. Little is known about the man who was shot (other than that he is 23 years old with an arrest record), but a young man claiming to be his brother has expressed frustration to the local CBS affiliate. In the following video, the young man says, “Once again, the police failed to protect us like they said they would do. We are losing loved ones every day to the people who are sworn to protect us.”

(Via ABC News, Reuters & NBC News)

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