MILWAUKEE — BMO Harris Bank executives are assessing the damage by civil unrest to one of its branches in the city of Milwaukee Saturday evening, August 13th to determine the extent of the damages and when it can be reopened.
The bank near 36th and Fond du Lac was one of six businesses damaged as a result of civil unrest that occurred near 44th and Auer in Milwaukee after an officer-involved fatal shooting earlier Saturday.
According to media reports, firefighters had to break a window on the second floor of the bank to gain entrance to fight the fire that was started.
Patrick O’Herlihy, a spokesman for BMO Harris Bank, told the Milwaukee Business Journal Sunday that the branch was being inspected for damage.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Sunday afternoon there were six fires overnight — at the BP gas station at Sherman and Burleigh, Jet Beauty at 35th and Fond du Lac, the BMO Harris Bank at 36th and Fond du Lac, O’Reilly Auto Parts at Fond du Lac and Burleigh, MJM Liquor at Fond du Lac and North and a second liquor store at 21st and Hopkins.
Seven squad cars were damaged. Eight rounds of gunfire struck a Bearcat vehicle being utilized by law enforcement.
Four officers were hurt — three were struck by concrete and one was hit by flying glass.
Seventeen arrests were made overnight, and all of those arrested have prior criminal records.
Shot Spotter, MPD’s “shots fired” technology was activated 48 times overnight. Police said a 16-year-old girl was struck by gunfire near 43rd and Burleigh.
Despite all this violence, there were no “use of force” incidents by MPD during the unrest.
The incident started Saturday afternoon when two officers stopped two people who were in a car in the north side, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.
“I was advised it was a suspicious stop. This vehicle was behaving in a suspicious manner. It’s a rental car as it turns out. We’ve not ascertained its status as to whether or not it was lawfully rented or stolen,” Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after, both car occupants fled on foot as officers pursued them, police said.
During the chase, an officer shot one of the two — 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who was armed with a handgun, according to authorities.
“He (officer) ordered that individual to drop his gun, the individual did not drop his gun,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “He had the gun with him and the officer fired several times.”
Smith at the scene. It’s unclear whether the second occupant of the car is in police custody.
Smith was shot twice — in the arm and chest, the mayor said. His handgun was stolen during a burglary in Waukesha in March, according to police.
“The victim of that burglary reported 500 rounds of ammunition were also stolen with the handgun,” police said in a statement.
The officer, 24, was assigned to District 7 and has six years of service with the Milwaukee Police Department — three of those as an officer.
He was not injured and will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation and subsequent review by the district attorney’s office.
Chief Flynn said Sunday the officer is African-American, and there are concerns for his safety.
At the time of the shooting, he was wearing a body camera.
The body camera video is not being released at this point, as the investigation continues.
“A young man lost his life (Saturday) afternoon. No matter what, his family has to be hurting. There was a body camera the officer was wearing. The video will be under the jurisdiction of the state of Wisconsin. I have seen a still photo extracted from that video. That photo demonstrates, without question, that (Smith) had a gun in his hand. The police officer didn’t know it at the time, but there were 23 rounds in that gun. He had more bullets in his gun than the police officer had in his gun. What that police officer encountered was an individual who had a gun in his hand,” Barrett said.
“We’re going to have to weigh a couple different things. We have to weigh the public’s benefit. We have to weigh the rights of the officer involved. We have to weigh the concern that DCI has to have an investigation. I suppose there are people that would say we might have to protect a potential jury pool someday, I don’t know,” Flynn said.
By state law, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will lead the investigation.
Meanwhile, on Sunday night, there will be 150 officers deployed as part of MPD’s Major Incident Response Team. Flynn said all officers will be hitting the streets in two-person patrol units.
Governor Scott Walker has activated the National Guard — but Barrett said the National Guard would not be deployed unless Chief Flynn deemed it necessary. 125 members of the National Guard were headed to Milwaukee Sunday.