Seventy-four arrested in Milwaukee during police shooting protest
Dozens of protesters were arrested on Friday in Milwaukee when they blocked rush-hour traffic on a major highway to protest the killing of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer this year.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department took at least 73 adults and one minor into custody during the protest that blocked Interstate 43, which runs through the city, according to the department’s Twitter feed.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and social media, protesters blocked traffic in both directions for about 75 minutes around 5 p.m. local time.
The protest in Milwaukee is the latest in a string of demonstrations against police violence across the country, in the wake of recent cases where unarmed black men were killed by white police officers.
Police killings in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City, along with subsequent decisions by grand juries to not indict the officers who were involved, have rekindled a national debate over race relations in the United States.
Milwaukee protesters called for charges to be filed against white Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney, who shot Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed 31-year-old mentally disabled black man, 14 times during a struggle in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee on April 30, according to media and authorities.
Charges have not been filed against Manney, who was fired from the department in October, according to media.
Peaceful protests have been occurring regularly in Milwaukee since the incident, but none with as many arrests as on Friday.
“We’re still peaceful,” Dontre’s brother, Nathaniel Hamilton, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Nothing is burning. Nothing is torn down. No one’s hurt. I don’t want them to think being disruptive is being violent.”
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Curtis Skinner, Robert Birsel)