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Sunday, August 14, 2016
Milwaukee riot a textbook example of the fruits of racial agitation
Gunfire, police cars smashed and burned, the torching of a gasoline station, bank branch, beauty supply store, and O'Reilly Auto Parts store were the highlights of a Saturday night riot in Milwaukee in the aftermath of a police shooting. The sequence and description of events, pulled together from press reports suggests the shooting was proper, although an investigation will surely follow and provide a definitive conclusion.
"Those additional facts will come out in the coming days," Jessup said.
Following a traffic stop, an armed man with a "lengthy arrest record" was pursued by police, and ordered to drop his gun. And when he did not comply, he was shot. The mayor of Milwaukee has said he believes the officer had a body camera, so we will be able to see if the officer had a reason to fear for his life.
Following the shooting, social media erupted in calls for action. A crowd estimated from 100 to 200 gathered. Considering that it was Saturday night and most of those appearing were young, that is not a huge turnout. But that many people angry and violent can do a lot of damage, such as setting a gas station with three people inside on fire. (They were able to escape).
There is a backstory to that gas station:
The clash comes after a series of tense episodes in Milwaukee involving residents and police, including one just before the Fourth of July weekend near Sherman Park.
In early July, a group of several dozen young people threw rocks and bottles, damaging windows of a gas station and a county transit bus near Sherman Park. Law enforcement beefed up their presence for several days there. Some activists said it was an intimidating presence. At the same time, the incidents also led to a surge in residents and local leaders promoting positive activity there.
The gas station, a BP, that was the scene of the July incident, was the station that burned Saturday night.
Firefighters were constrained from fighting the blazes by gunfire.
Gas station at Sherman and Burleigh set on fire. MFD cannot extinguish fire as gunshots are being fired.
I don't expect that all of the rioters intent on violence. It would take only a handful of people to use guns and arson to terrorize a city.
The combination of social media and constant racial grievance mongering means that traumatic events can be inflicted with no genuine cause of action anytime a black person is shot by police. That is something that, alas, happens with awful frequency given the demography of violent crime.
This script for civil insurrection is going to be played out more and more frequently. It is just too easy to convulse a city and demand change if you are of that mind.