28 arrested, tear gas used in Wisconsin protests
WAUWATOSA, Wisconsin (AP) - Police used tear gas on protesters and arrested 28 people during a third consecutive night of protests for lack of charges against a suburban Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot and killed a black teenager on Twitter Saturday to outline what they termed an "escalation in force by the protesters".
About 100 people gathered in front of City Hall on Friday after Wauwatosas 7:00 p.m. Curfew and declined several orders to dissolve, according to police. Police said they used tear gas in the crowd after bottles were thrown at officers.
On Saturday, the Wauwatosa Police Department posted on Twitter that valid questions about the police reaction had been asked over three nights of protests. Police released a picture of bottles they said were found in a backpack, including a bottle of lighter fluid, and found the materials could be used to start fires.
“For the past three nights, the protesters have seen an escalation in force. Our law enforcement response is in response to this escalation, ”the police tweeted. They said the protesters had Molotov cocktails and other fire extinguishing supplies and weapons were discovered in the crowd on Friday night.
Protesters have gathered every day since prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they would not charge officer Joseph Mensah with the death of 17-year-old Alvin Cole. Mensah, who is black, shot and killed Cole after a car chase outside a mall in Wauwatosa in February.
The police tweets come because some have fined the authorities for the way they handled the protests. Police arrested Alvin Cole's mother, Tracy Cole, and his sisters during Thursday night's demonstration. Family attorney Kimberly Motley criticized the way the police treated the family, stating that Tracy Cole needed treatment for injuries.
In a tweet to the police chief and mayor on Friday, Motley said, "Because of your failed leadership, you turned Wauwatosa into a war zone!"
About an hour after the curfew went into effect on Friday, law enforcement officers moved towards the crowd. Police said she used chemical irritants they called tear gas, as well as pepperballs and paintballs, after bottles and stones were thrown at her. Videos posted on Twitter by local reporters showed heavy smoke in the air as police advanced and several people were taken into custody.
The police said windows broke in a Snap Fitness Center.
Police said two of the 28 arrests on Friday were for felony, one for misdemeanor and 25 for communal citations. Police found that some of those arrested were blocking traffic, others had tried to start fires, and one person had materials to start a fire. Another person in the group posted a picture of himself with a gun, authorities added, although it was not clear whether he was among those arrested.
According to the police, two people arrested were examined for minor injuries.
One of those arrested was driving one of three vehicles that had come to Wauwatosa Police Department early Saturday. According to the police, the vehicle almost hit an officer. The driver got into a second vehicle and the police arrested the person after a brief chase, authorities said.
"We can appreciate the anger and frustration that reigns among those affected by recent events," police said in a statement on Saturday. They asked people to keep sticking to 7:00 p.m. Curfew, which should come back into effect on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The National Guard supports the local police.
The Wauwatosa protests are just the latest in a series of demonstrations against racism and police brutality that have broken out across the country since George Floyd's death. Floyd, who was black, died in May after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to the back of his neck when Floyd gasped that he couldn't breathe.
The Co-Founder and Editor of The Daily Caller said two of his reporters were beaten and arrested by police in Wauwatosa Thursday while taping Tracy Cole's arrest. Numerous journalists have been injured or arrested during nationwide protests in recent months.
Neil Patel, who co-founded the Conservative news agency with Tucker Carlson, said in a statement that reporters Shelby Talcott and Richie McGinniss "were brutally clubbed for no reason," the Milwaukee Journal reported Sentinel.
A message requesting comment from the Wauwatosa Police Department was not immediately returned to The Associated Press.
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