Peace may finally be returning to the streets of Milwaukee, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the city’s newly mandated curfew will be lifted anytime soon. City officials recently implemented a 10 p.m. curfew for all minors following a police shooting Saturday, which resulted in weekend-long protests and riots.
During a press conference, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett explained the terms of the curfew, which prevents anyone 18 years or younger from loitering or congregating public streets, highways, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of public amusement and entertainment, places of employment, places of business, vacant lots, or any public place in the city, Fox News reported. Any minors found breaking the curfew will face fines of up to $200.
"So parents, after 10:00 p.m., your teenagers better be home or in a place where they are off the streets," Barrett said, hinting at the chaotic times facing the Sherman Park neighborhood where most of the rioting had taken place. "This is not the place where you go to gawk. It is not the place to go to take pictures. It is not the place to go to drive your car around right now."
The heated demonstrations resulted in damage of three squad cars – one of which was set on fire – along with six business and a gas station that were burned to the ground. Seven officers and four deputies suffered from injuries after having bricks thrown at their cars during riots on Sunday night, and an 18-year-old man was shot in the neck. He was rushed to the hospital in an armed vehicle where he received medical treatment continuing to Monday, The Washington Post reported.
More than 30 people were arrested over the weekend. However, that number dwindled down to just six arrests on Monday night, ABC News reported.
“We think we are, comparatively speaking, in a positive place,” Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said during the press conference. “Subjectively there’s been less tonight than there was last night.
Milwaukee Police’s official Twitter account followed up the Chief’s speech and added that there had been no reports of property damage as of Monday as well.
Peaceful vigils and prayer gatherings were held for Sylville K. Smith, a 23-year-old man who had been shot and killed by an officer after fleeing a traffic stop on Saturday night. According to police, Smith was carrying a gun when he was shot twice by an officer who has yet to be identified.
Barrett added Monday night’s peaceful gatherings were “very encouraging” but remained cautious that “things could happen” later in the evening while Flynn credited community leaders and pastors for leading the charge for peace.
"The community stepped up last night," Flynn said. "Those of you who were out there saw many instances people preaching on street corners, counseling small groups of individuals, a number of individuals spoke at the vigil last night which could have easily been an excuse for some folks to incite. But rather, there were consistent calls for calm discussion and peaceful change."
No further reports of violence or arrest have been made as of Tuesday. However, the curfew banning teens from being on the streets past 10 p.m. is still in full effect.