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Milwaukee Calmer After Protests Over Police Shooting

  • VOA News

A burned down liquor store is seen after disturbances following the police shooting of a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., August 15, 2016.

A burned down liquor store is seen after disturbances following the police shooting of a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., August 15, 2016.

Authorities in the Midwestern U.S. city of Milwaukee expressed cautious optimism Monday night about lowered tensions following two nights of protests in response to the killing of a black man by a police officer.

"It's not a situation where we're saying everything is great, but, again, up to this point the signs have been very encouraging for tonight," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

The city's police chief, Edward Flynn, said there were some heated confrontations Monday and that officers made "half a dozen" arrests.

Officials also imposed a 10 p.m. curfew for teenagers to be off the streets.

The protests began Saturday after the killing of 23-year-old Sylville Smith. The first night was the most violent and left at least six businesses destroyed. Sunday saw more demonstrations, but not at the same level, with an 18-year-old being shot during the protests and several police officers injured.

Flynn has said Smith ran from a car after it was stopped for what authorities described as suspicious behavior. The chief said after running several meters Smith pointed his weapon at an officer before the 24-year-old policeman, who is also black, fired his gun.

A man attends to young man who was shot during disturbances following the police shooting of a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Aug. 14, 2016.

A man attends to young man who was shot during disturbances following the police shooting of a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Aug. 14, 2016.

Mayor Barrett said the officer was wearing a body camera during the altercation and the video will be made public "at the appropriate time." He said he saw a still image that showed without question that Smith had a gun in his hand.

Smith's sister, Kimberly Neal, told The Associated Press the family wants prosecutors to file charges against the officer.

Milwaukee's police department was also the subject of protests in 2014 after an officer killed a mentally ill, unarmed black man.

The city has a population of about 600,000 people, nearly 40 percent of them African-Americans who are heavily concentrated on the north side of the city.

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