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“We just want answers to our questions:” Protesters occupy police building

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) --  Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Milwaukee on Friday afternoon, August 22nd to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri — they’re demanding justice for the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown. But this group has another agenda as well.

The rally got its start at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee. That's a location familiar to many -- for all the wrong reasons. This spring, Red Arrow Park was the backdrop for what some allege is the city's own "Michael Brown" incident.

On April 30th, a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill African-American man, after an apparent altercation. That officer-involved shooting was investigated by an outside agency. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is still reviewing the results.

Mike Wilder is the organizer of Friday's rally. He says it's a chance to stand with the people of Ferguson, Missouri.

"The goal here is to bring about awareness that there are families who have not received justice for their loved ones being victims of violence from law enforcement," said Wilder.

Not only is it part of the national '"Hands up, don't shoot" movement to honor Michael Brown. It's also a rally for change here in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen is among those calling for the release of documents pertaining to the Hamilton investigation -- in hopes of providing justice and closure for a family close to home.

"Whenever you have individuals -- especially those with mental illnesses taken with lethal force -- I think we really need to re-look at the treatment of everybody in our community," said Bowen.

Bowen says a larger issue remains -- building a better relationship between the Milwaukee Police Department and African-American community.

"We want to have transparency.  It's so important to have the trust of the community and relations with our law enforcement," said Bowen.

When the group reached the Safety Building, it was expected to read a list of demands they have for law enforcement. The group plans to do all of this again on Monday afternoon, August 25th. The gathering on that day will be the federal courthouse -- to urge for federal assistance here in Milwaukee with police relations.

“We're demanding that they release the names the name of the officer that killed Dontre Hamilton and we here with the family we here with the community and we just want answers to our questions,” said community activist, Tory Lowe.

The rally then turned into a showdown between protesters and police while gathered just outside the doors of the Police Administration building.

Police were stationed outside all of the building's doors for a couple of hours -- and they were not letting anyone come inside.

The mass of people were still jammed inside, refusing to leave until they get some answers about the death of Dontre Hamilton.

Dontre Hamilton's brother Nathaniel was amongst the rally leaders.

"I got a headache and it never goes away it never goes away like I just how can I rest how can Dontre rest he was shot multiple times the officer unloading his weapon into his body," said Nathaniel.

When asked if they were willing to stay throughout the night, FOX6 News was told:

"We're willing to stay as long as it takes," said Lowe.

At one point, part of the group traveled out onto the balcony of the Police Administration building. That's when police officers filed out and blocked access back into the building. There were still plenty of people inside though, who were in there for about three hours.

Police shut off the air conditioning in the building, perhaps hoping to make the crowd uncomfortable enough to leave.

After about three hours, around 8:00 p.m. the crowd finally left.

FOX6 News is told the plan is now for them to meet with police on Monday.

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33 comments

  • dancing in the ruins

    so they are protesting the police shooting a guy 4 months ago who took an officer’s baton and beat him with it but they’re ok with all the nightly black-on-black shootings. makes sense.

  • dancing in the ruins

    instead of calling everyone who is critical of this behavior ‘racist’ please explain why these people aren’t protesting all the black-on-black shootings that happen nightly in their own neighborhood. that’s not racist – it’s fact. please, explain because i want to understand the logic.

  • David

    Over the last 5 years there have been 94 blacks killed by white police officers. Over that same 5 years, there have been more than 40, 000 black on black murders. Hmmmmm….do the math and the protesters look rather uneducated!

  • Michele Rice-Jones

    Sadness, odds are that Michael suçcomed to gang affiliation. Did anyone notice the threat scrawled on wall of burned down conveniemve store – snitches get stitches? Did anyone think that Dem Senator’s letter actually should be considered criminal – terrorist?

  • El gato

    Why don’t these people rally to stop crime and violence in their own community? This punk kid apparently stole from a store, roughed up the owner, and then beat a cop. He deserved to be shot!
    Ferguson is a better community without him and his kind…and Milwaukee would be a better community if blacks stopped tolerating the garbage they do!

  • El gato

    Judging by your spelling and grammar, you are a product of MPS and didn’t graduate high school.
    You are blathering on like a demented fool. The reality is that if a black thug is violent and gets shot, it’s his own fault! If he was at home behaving himself like decent people, he wouldn’t be in any danger. Stop blaming others for the awful behavior of young black men in the inner city. You attitude suggests you are part of the problem!

    • Jan

      Actually, I VERY HAPPY with my kids being in MPS. I think it’s a wonderful school! Maybe you should take a tour of one and meet some of the staff during an open house night. Sorry your kids don’t double honor roll like mine do (gee, I wonder why). When is the last time you’ve been inside one- the day you dropped out?

  • jj

    Yoy protest because you support a dead ghetto thug. U support a dead thug because he was black and u want to believe he did nothing wrong. Brown was a ghetto thug he fought with the police, went for the cops gun and ….bang, shot in the face. Brown had it coming.

  • sammy

    U r an idiot trey holmes. These men fought with the cops. One used a batton to hit the cop. The other went for the cops gun. Both actions r life threatening and the cops did their jobs. They both went home alive these thugs on the other hand. Well their own actions got them killed.

  • sammy

    Don we r all sick of the ghetto thug problem in milwaukee. Shooting, robberies, drugs, auto theft s, are all in the ghetto every night. Stop protesting about two dead thugs.

  • JUDY K

    What I’m wondering is…how can all these people be protesting on a Friday, a WORK day, for most people!

  • diane

    Black on black crime is acceptable to the african American community. .it is only when they can scream. “Racist” & maybe get a free ride…I am sick and tired of it all….along with every other hard working normal american citizen who doesnt live with their palms out waiting for a handout. ..expecting….everything inlife for free….

  • Stevie

    what a messed up country we love in…an innocent american is beheaded!!! and the media and worthless libs ignore that and the black community vigils yet another thug!! awesome!

      • Jan

        Al- good video! Maybe it’s time they pull their pants up and helping themselves. Yeah, that guy hit the nail right on the head!

    • Taxpayer

      Soul daddy it’s not racism it called being tired of the black community not acting like normal citizens.

  • David Lichtenstein

    Protestors, please go crawl back to your community outpost. Clean up some garbage in the hood. Help older black folks with their lawn. Tell your homies to quit wearing their pants below their arse. Go protest in Chicago where all the shootings are by blacks. Call the police on your thug friends if you see them commit a crime. Lend a hand to your friendly business owner by not looting or destroying their property. Ah.. many positive things you can do for this community like informing yo sistas not to have children out of wedlock and create more felons and baby daddys which leach the system that is completely bankrupt. Let’s do the taxpayers a solid one and pull the IV out of their arm that’s been draining their pocket book for your thug lifestyles. Don’t forget labor day will soon be here if you know what it means: “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.”

  • Reagan 84

    Boy,I wish I had time to protest,riot,and rally. Oh that’s right, I’m a LAW ABIDING CITIZEN WHO WORKS AND PAYS TAXES!!!

  • soulobigdaddy

    I like how you moderate everything said to stand up for the black community, yet allow bashing of the black community on these comment boards

    • Bill Watts

      Geeze Soul, now Fox 6 is racist? You’re really taking out that race card for a test spin hey? How dare us proud white people be allowed to speak our minds!

  • Dirk

    Stupid is what stupid does, wait is that a racist statement? It’s not racist if it actually happens protest somoe black on black crime

  • The Savory Sage

    These people and those in Ferguson amuse me.
    Rabble: “We want answers, we want justice!”
    Voice of reason: “Well, they attacked a cop and were killed.”
    Rabble: “What does that have to do with anything? We want answers, we want justice!”
    Voice of reason: “Well, it takes some time to sort through all the misinformation to find the truth. For example, the initial witnesses in Ferguson all lied…”
    Rabble: “We don’t care about that! Don’t be trying to confuse us with your facts and evidence. We want answers, we want justice!”
    Voice of reason: “I give up…”

Comments are closed.