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“You can’t tell people their grieving is up:” Arrests made near 44th & Auer after crowd asked to disperse

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MILWAUKEE -- There were three arrests made in the area near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st -- after multiple arrests Tuesday night. This, as people have been gathering at a memorial for 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer on August 13th.

Police said in an update on Wednesday that 11 people were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting an officer Tuesday evening -- after police asked a crowd in the area to disperse.

Police said they received complaints Tuesday night from residents about disorderly groups gathering into the late-night hours since the August 13th shooting of Smith.

Officers near 44th and Auer Tuesday night, August 30th

Officers near 44th and Auer Tuesday night, August 30th

In response to those complaints, as well as demands for action by elected officials, officers dispersed the crowd that had again gathered at about 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night.

While most in the crowd peacefully left in response to the officers’ requests, some chose not to -- and 11 individuals were ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

At about 10:00 p.m., police said another group gathered near the scene and a confrontation ensued between a frustrated resident and the group, causing officers to again move in to disperse the disorderly crowd.  During this process, two individuals were arrested.

Further investigation revealed one of the individuals was an elected official, and the other a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.  These men were not among the elected officials and community leaders who had previously made themselves known to the officers, causing confusion.

After being detained for several minutes, the two were ultimately released at the scene.

Milwaukee police are investigating the circumstances surrounding these arrests to ensure proper procedures were followed.

44th and Auer Tuesday night, August 30th

44th and Auer Tuesday night, August 30th

On Wednesday morning, August 31st, a small group again gathered near 44th and Auer.  After the group refused a resident’s request to leave her private property and created a disturbance, officers arrested three men for disorderly conduct.  One was also arrested for resisting an officer.

Frank Sensabauth

Frank Sensabauth

"I saw a bunch of police pull up, get out -- at least 12 of them. Walk up to a man in his vehicle, pull him out of the car with no explanation of a violation of a crime that was committed or anything," a passerby said Wednesday.

Frank Sensabauth has been with Sylville Smith's family numerous times at the memorial in the area and said he's tried to help ease tension in the neighborhood. Sensabauth said he was recently arrested. He said it happened while he was trying to keep the peace.

"You can't tell people that their grieving is up.  Any concerns that the neighbors had, we actually have been knocking on their doors and talking to them about their concerns to make it so we can peacefully resolve this," Sensabauth said.

Arrests near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Arrests near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Some neighbors told FOX6 News they respect the mourning process but the gatherings have created issues. They didn't want to talk with FOX6 News on camera -- afraid of repercussions.

Sensabauth said the group that comes out to mourn is not violent.

"We`re not trying to be at odds. We`re trying to respect the neighbors," Sensabauth said.

Sensabauth said they're not planning on leaving anytime soon.

Memorial for Sylville Smith near 44th and Auer

Memorial for Sylville Smith near 44th and Auer

"I don`t understand what the problem is if they come there peacefully to mourn by the tree," Sensabauth said.

Some neighbors were pleased to see police in the area Wednesday. One even brought out water for some officers.

Sylville Smith

Sylville Smith

After the arrests Wednesday, the crowd momentarily dispersed and then gathered again at the tree.

Milwaukee police said in a statement Wednesday they continue join with Sherman Park neighbors, community groups, faith leaders, and elected officials calling for peace in the community and the disruptive, disorderly behavior to cease.

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Police near 44th and Auer Wednesday, August 31st

Milwaukee police said: "It should be noted that rumors about the Milwaukee Police Department’s efforts to remove the roadside memorial are completely false."

13 comments

  • liberty

    Isn’t it amazing when two nuns are killed by a black man, but there are no riots like here? Two women who committed the only crime of helping others. Says allot doesn’t it!

    • Süss

      Yeah it does, and none of it is good. Notice the DOJ didn’t send anyone there to determine if it was a hate crime.

      • confused

        It’s never a hate crime when it’s black on white or anyone against Catholic. Why is that? I’d really like to know.

  • confused

    After the group refused a resident’s request to leave her private property and created a disturbance, officers arrested three men for disorderly conduct. As it SHOULD be! You cannot gather to mourn or protest or whatever you want on SOMEONE else’s private property. Go mourn at Smith’s house. Go mourn at the cemetery. Go mourn at the church. Don’t you have homes of your own ? You can set up a memorial at the Smith home. You can put on one line. I’d be curious to know if any of these “mourners” are felons and are they even allowed to associate with each other? Taking chances out and about like that if they are. That’s an immediate parole/probation violation. Stop asking to get arrested.

    • Had ENOUGH!

      I’m sure all of their utilities are shut off for the summer.. so, they have nothing else to do but loiter and cause problems.

      I bet if some philanthropist bought each of them electricity and cable.. there would be a lot less crime in that neighborhood.

  • Jim

    And yet no one grieves for the 90+ homicide victims not shot by the police. How many of them where pointing a gun at the shooter?

  • Sister Mary Ellen

    Did you read the article?? No one is protesting they’re gathering to mourn their loss. But you’re so quick to judge with your racist comments you missed that part. Everyone that comments on here is so unbelievably racist it’s sickening! If you don’t like living in a diverse city move somewhere else. Your only making the problem worse. You sit on your computers blaming every politician you can think of but do nothing to change the problem. Always waiting for someone else to do the hard work!

    • Opinion8d

      Just because people don’t care for certain behavior (usually illegal) doesn’t make them racist! It’s the behavior that infuriates people -and would be responded to the same way white or black. What’s frustrating to many, is that they are out working hard to make a living and struggling themselves, and it gets awful sickening to see this type of behavior when it’s all based on BS. They aren’t ‘mourning’ or ‘protesting’ !! Why is it always late in the evening when they are out??

  • whogivesaratsasswhatcoloryouare

    All those innocent people people killed by gang bangers and we see no protest no riot no vigil no memorial but convicted criminal points gun at cop and rightfully shot all hell breaks loose. Stop oppressing your own people.

Comments are closed.