Amid the violent, racially charged riots that erupted following the shooting of a black man by a police officer in Milwaukee over the weekend, one fact seemed to be lost on the protesters.
The police shooting of Sylville Smith sparked acts of violence as buildings and cars were burned and businesses were looted, protesters chanting “black lives matter” in the Wisconsin city.
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) August 14, 2016
— The Hill (@thehill) August 16, 2016
Smith, 23, was armed with a stolen gun and fled from a car Saturday during a traffic stop. He was fatally shot by a police officer after a foot pursuit and refusing to drop his weapon. While protests erupted blaming racism and calling for violence against cops, there was one inescapable fact the rioters were missing. The officer who shot Smith was also black.
In fact, the two men even knew each other from high school, according to Smith’s sister.
“The boy knew my brother personally from high school. They knew each other. You knew exactly how my brother was and you shot and killed him,” Sherelle Smith said, according to Fox6 News. Milwaukee police confirmed that the two had attended school together.
Video clip via Fox6 News.
The victim’s sister did not agree with the looting and burning that followed her brother’s death.
“Violence is never the key though, I’m not saying that. I don’t want anyone to be violent,” Smith said.
Though police would not release the officer’s name because threats have been made against him, the fact that he was not white confused some people.
#Milwaukee rioter logic: “A black cop shot an armed black suspect so let’s destroy a black neighborhood to protest white racism”
— Dan O’Donnell (@DanODradio) August 14, 2016
#Milwaukee: When a black cop shoots a black man with a lengthy criminal record, who is armed with a stolen gun – it’s WHITE RACISM.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) August 15, 2016
How does an armed black suspect shot by a black cop justify violent protests, arson & looting? #Milwaukee Can’t even fall back on racism!
— Chris D. Lewis (@ChrisLewisLLS) August 15, 2016
The protests, which centered around race as an issue, resulted in extensive damage to property.
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Cleanup underway in Milwaukee after a night of unrest, protest, multiple fires & deadly officer involved shooting pic.twitter.com/MkQpqpSFnt
— Thema Ponton (@thema_ponton) August 14, 2016
— Ben Hutchison (@BennyHutch) August 14, 2016
— Sheldon Dutes (@SheldonDutes) August 14, 2016
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