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Mass arrests as protesters bring rush hour traffic to dead halt

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Mass arrests were made in Milwaukee Friday night as protesters blocked rush hour traffic.

Hundreds of protesters caused a massive traffic jam blocking the southbound lanes of I-43, while calling for charges against Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney. 

Manney shot and killed 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton 14 times in April, after a struggle in a downtown park, spurring weeks of protests, according to the Journal Sentinel. He was later fired for not following proper procedure.

The Milwaukee County sheriff’s office said late Friday that 73 adults and one juvenile were arrested as a result of the blocked streets.

Traffic was briefly closed in both directions after protesters marched onto the interstate, as Wisconsin Jobs Now shared on Twitter. The disruption resulted in long traffic delays around the downtown area. Traffic was reopened in both directions in less than ten minutes.

Sheriff David Clarke issued a warning about the protests Friday afternoon, declaring that “anarchist groups” were gathering to plan “disruptive activities.” You can read Sheriff Clarke’s full statement here. Milwaukee Police expressed frustration with Friday’s protest on Twitter, arguing that ongoing efforts to reach out to the Hamilton family regarding demonstrations were ignored.

After the scene cleared at I-43, about 100 people picketed outside the Milwaukee Police Administration Building.

Mass Arrest

Jonathan Safran, an attorney for the Hamilton family, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they don’t approve of protesters blocking freeway traffic.

Hamilton’s mother and brother, Maria and Nathaniel Hamilton, were with a group protesting outside the Milwaukee police administration building Friday night.

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