City Imposes Third 9 p.m. Curfew Monday
Officials lament burglaries, fires, vandalism. Chief Morales warns police "taking action".
Milwaukee is under a 9:00 p.m. curfew for the third day in a row.
“We cannot allow disorder to replace order, particularly when it’s going to hit the people that are going to need services the most,” said Mayor Tom Barrett, speaking at a Monday afternoon press conference at Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church at 2412 N. 6th St. “We have to have a tool in place so we can do everything we can for the individuals who live in this neighborhood and other neighborhoods throughout the city so that they can continue their lives.”
Peaceful marches took place during the daytime Saturday and Sunday, but each night vandalism was committed across the city. Sunday night a number of fires were started on N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., which activists and Milwaukee Fire Department members worked to quickly put out.
“I understand very well the anger we are seeing, not only in this community, but in communities across the nation,” said Barrett. He said the nation witnessed a murder when it saw the death of George Floyd.
“Unfortunately that was not an isolated incident,” he said, acknowledging a long string of injustices to the country’s minority residents. “One could argue that it is decades or even centuries of subjugating African Americans in this country to an inferior status.”
Milwaukee Police Department Chief Alfonso Morales said there are two messages going out. “One is positive and from the daytime protests, but one is negative and it’s really impacting our community,” he said.
A total of 109 people were arrested in the last two nights, including five who do not live in the city, and 37 cars were towed. “If you are out engaging in civil unrest, you will be held liable,” he said. “Motorized vehicles are 4,000 pound bullets that are operating on our city streets in a reckless manner.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas said public safety employees have been working long hours to protect the city and support peaceful demonstrations. “We need one other element, and that’s the community. We need our community to show some restraint, and some show calm, and show some dignity,” he said.
“We in Milwaukee must find a way, not only to regain peace in our community, but in a meaningful way to craft a way forward for all our residents,” said Barrett.
“As you’ve seen and the media needs to cover, it did not end peacefully last night,” said Matt Krueger, United States Attorney for Wisconsin’s Eastern District. “There was continued looting, there were attacks on police vehicles, there were more fires burned, these are not protected by the first amendment, these are crimes.”
Is the Milwaukee Police Department changing strategies? “As the sun goes down we are going to be more aggressive in addressing that negative behavior that’s out there,” said Morales.
“We are going to be taking action,” said the chief. What does that mean? “We will explain it after it happens.”
The fine for violating curfew is $691.
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Read more about 2020 Racial Justice Protests here