Milwaukee Officials Identify Man Shot by Police, Release Details About Incident that Sparked Riots - NBC Chicago

Milwaukee Officials Identify Man Shot by Police, Release Details About Incident that Sparked Riots

Authorities identified the man fatally shot by police as 23-year-old Sylville Smith, adding that he "without a doubt" had a gun during the incident



    After a violent night of protests in Milwaukee, officials revealed new details about the fatal police shooting that sparked hours of rioting. NBC5's Regina Waldroup reports from Milwaukee. (Published Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016)

    After a long night of unrest in Milwaukee, city officials identified the man fatally shot by police and revealed new details about the incident that sparked hours of rioting.

    Violence erupted when hundreds of people turned out to protest the fatal police shooting of a man fleeing a traffic stop on foot near North 44th St and Auer Avenue on Milwaukee's north side Saturday.

    At a news conference on Sunday, authorities identified the man as 23-year-old Sylville Smith. Police Chief Ed Flynn said Smith had a "lengthy arrest record" with the Milwaukee Police Department.

    Authorities said the officer who shot Smith is African-American, and they are not releasing his name out of concern for his safety. Officials said threats have been made against him as well as other officers.

    Smith was shot twice in the chest and arm, according to police, though an autopsy has not yet been conducted.

    The incident was captured on the officer's body camera, Flynn confirmed, and the video has been turned over to the state of Wisconsin, which is leading the investigation.

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he would like to see video released as soon as possible, adding that he saw a still image and wanted the community to know that "without question" Smith had a gun in his hand.

    Sunday’s news conference was the second time Milwaukee officials addressed the public amid rioting. Following several hours of violence and destruction beginning between 8 and 9 p.m., Barrett and other city leaders made a public appearance to urge area residents to remain calm.

    "This is a situation where we are asking every resident of this community to do everything they can to help us restore order," Barrett said in a news conference after midnight early Sunday.

    Four officers were injured in the riots, as hundreds of protesters clashed with police in the area the shooting occurred, throwing debris and smashing car windows.

    One officer was injured by a brick thrown through the window of a squad car, and all four officers were released from the hospital Sunday. A 16-year-old girl was also wounded when she was shot by a stray bullet, police said. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

    Six businesses were also set on fire, including a BP gas station at North Sherman Blvd and West Burleigh St that was destroyed in the blaze. Some of the other businesses set on fire included a BMO Harris bank branch, an O'Reilly Auto Parts store and a beauty supply store.

    Seven squad cars were damaged, police said, two of which were totaled in the riots.

    Police initially said three people had been arrested Saturday night, though by Sunday the number of arrests had risen to 17. Police Chief Flynn said each person arrested had a prior criminal record with the department and charges were pending.

    The city activated the major incident response team, putting 150 officers on the street in pairs. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also activated the National Guard on Sunday, to help if needed, though they will not be deployed unless the police chief requests it.

    Officials were meeting with pastors Sunday evening to continue to work to try to keep the peace, and Mayor Barrett said he was prepared to put a curfew in place if needed.

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