Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker activated the National Guard to be prepared if local police call upon their deployment to the city of Milwaukee on Sunday, [August 15]. The move to involve the reserved military force came by recommendation of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, whose vocal opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement brought him to the forefront of the discourse around crime and police brutality in the Black community, during the height of racial tensions in July. Clarke’s call to action comes after the second day of unrest following the shooting of a 23-year-old Black man police claim to have been armed while fleeing from a traffic stop.
“We cannot allow for a repeat of what happened (Saturday) night. I am going to utilize all available resources to accomplish that,” Clarke stated. On Sunday there were additional reports of shooting, the destruction of property, and injury, including a car fire, along with the wounding of an 18-year-old male by a bullet, and medical attention sought for a police officer who was hurt when a rock smashed the windshield of his cruiser. It all happened as police in riot gear moved in to disperse a crowd after 11 p.m. Several protesters were reported to have been arrested. Footage from the scene of the uprisings grabbed national headlines, with photos and videos of fires and shooting traveling the web.
“What happened tonight may not have been right, and I am not justifying that, but no one can deny the fact that there are problems, racial problems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that need to be rectified,” City Alderman Khalif Rainey said. Tempers flared among many, while others in the community came together to assist in the clean-up of the damage and help re-institute calm. “This community of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the entire country.”
Local politicians are said to be meeting with community leaders to discuss a strategy on how to move forward, with the potential for even greater angst as investigators prepare to put out their findings on what exactly occurred between the yet identified suspects and police. Officials have said they will be releasing footage from the firing officer’s body camera, as it remains unclear whether at any point the victim in fact reached for a fire arm. In any case, Sheriff Clarke can be expected to take a hard line approach in light of the fact that he has been somewhat anointed to be one of the nation’s spokespersons for law and order, as was indicated by his invitation to speak at the Republican National Convention last month in Cleveland.