Milwaukee Unrest

Marti Mikkelson

Elected officials and community activists gathered in Milwaukee on Tuesday to criticize Gov. Walker’s job creation agency. They insist it has not done enough to fuel economic development in the Sherman Park neighborhood. 

Violence broke out there this month, after an officer fatally shot a man who police say was armed and fleeing a traffic stop. But, activists did not limit their criticism to just the state.

Jabril Faraj

Since Saturday night, Sherman Park has been roiled by protests that have, at times, turned violent in the wake of the police killing of Sylville K. Smith, a 23-year-old black man.

Residents have expressed pain over these events but many who were present in the area following the shooting said they understand why people are angry.

Teens and young adults share their fears after rioting in their Sherman Park nieghborhood.
Bonnie Petrie

Parklawn Assembly of God Church in Sherman Park welcomed the neighborhood's young people into the Sanctuary on Friday night to share their thoughts, fears, and concerns about the recent rioting in that neighborhood. Bishop Walter Harvey says Friday's Listening Session -- facilitated by Urban Underground -- is the first in what will be a series of opportunities to learn from the community,.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee is in a reflective mood, days after tragic events unfolded in the city’s Sherman Park neighborhood. Earlier this week, people quietly reflected in Alice’s Garden, a green oasis two miles southeast of the Sherman Park hot spot.

A circle more than 50 people – different sizes, ages and colors – stood together.  And, Monique Inez Liston led a solemn chant.

Sarah Kies, Milwaukee College Prep

Families across Milwaukee are reeling from news of violence on the city’s north side.

UPDATE: Sylville Smith was shot once in the chest and once in the arm, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner. Those autopsy results seem to correspond with city leaders' account that Smith had turned toward the officer who fatally shot him. Police say the 23-year-old was armed and fleeing after a traffic stop.

Audrey Nowakowski

In a special partnership with Milwaukee Public Television, WUWM's Lake Effect convened a panel of community members to discuss the causes of the violence in the Sherman Park neighborhood and the way forward.

Clifton Pharm wanted to explain to his five-year-old granddaughter Chanel what happened over the weekend in their Sherman Park neighborhood. So he took her hand and walked her past businesses that demonstrators set on fire and ransacked, following the fatal police shooting of a young black man. The grandfather remembers when his brother did the same for him, in the 1960s.

Pharm and Chanel started their walk on 36th and Fond du Lac, right across the street from the damaged BMO Harris bank building.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

The police shooting and violence Milwaukee has experienced since the weekend topped Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's visit to the region Tuesday.

At a campaign rally in West Bend, Trump told the crowd that Democratic policies and attitudes have brought many central city neighborhoods, including in Milwaukee, to their knees.

Michelle Maternowski

On Saturday, August 14th, a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed 23-year old Sylville Smith near the intersection of West Auer Avenue and North 44th Street.

The police department reported that Smith had a gun and refused to drop it. Details are still unfolding.

What we do understand is that in the Sherman Park neighborhood where this took place, tensions had been mounting for weeks.

Sylville’s death sparked peaceful protests, as well as violent unrest. Footage of buildings set aflame brought national attention to the Milwaukee and its struggles.

Michelle Maternowski

There are many theories as to how a neighborhood that used to be held up as a beacon of success has become ground zero for unrest.

Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood has seen a lot of changes over the years. It was once the heart of Milwaukee’s Jewish population and it was known for its manicured lawns and for being a close-knit community. While you can still find some of those attributes in Sherman Park, Clifton Pharm says he’s watched things spiral downwards over the last couple of decades.

Dmitry Nikolaev / Fotolia

Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank sees some unusual parallels between his own career and what Milwaukee is currently working through as a community:

Michelle Maternowski

Sunday afternoon, the Milwaukee Police Department invited faith and community leaders to meet in the aftermath of devastating events in the Sherman Park neighborhood. The hope was that influential residents could help foster calm.

One person at the table was Eric Von. The Washington D.C. native has made Milwaukee his home since 1991.  

WUWM listeners have come to know the veteran journalist as host of the Precious Lives series that focuses on the root causes of gun violence.

Marti Mikkelson

In the midst of unrest in Milwaukee, several dozen young recruits entered the police academy on Monday. They’ll undergo training for six months; when they graduate, they’ll begin walking the beat as Milwaukee police officers. City leaders acknowledged during the swearing-in ceremony that the cadets would be entering the police force at a difficult time.

The cadets entered the room to applause from friends and family members. They took the oath of office at the Milwaukee Safety Academy on the north side.

Michelle Maternowski

After a fatal police shooting near Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood on Saturday, the area erupted into protests and chaos. For two consecutive nights, demonstrators took to the streets. Businesses were burned, people were injured, and Milwaukee's weekend of unrest made national headlines.

READ: WUWM's Complete Coverage of Milwaukee's Unrest