Mayor orders 2nd night of curfew for Milwaukee; 60+ arrests in 48 hours, 20+ businesses damaged

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Sunday, May 31 announced the extension of Milwaukee's curfew for a second night amid ongoing protests over the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

The curfew runs from 9 p.m. Sunday, May 31 through 7 a.m. Monday, June 1.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Saturday called on the Wisconsin National Guard to help support law enforcement in Milwaukee following protests over the deaths of Floyd and Joel Acevedo, who died in April after an altercation with a Milwaukee police officer, that turned violent Friday night.

Evers said in a press release that he authorized 125 Guard members to assist after receiving a request from Milwaukee city and county officials worried about a repeat of the demonstration over Floyd and Acevedo.

More than a dozen businesses were damaged and about 50 people were arrested Friday night into Saturday, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said in a statement.

Amid the curfew, while Saturday was a calmer night than Friday, there were a few break-ins and other issues amid the ongoing protests.

Chief Morales noted two incidents occurring here -- peaceful protesting that goes on throughout the day as part of our First Amendment right, and the criminals who decide to riot and loot at night.

He noted several reports of shots fired Saturday into Sunday, reckless driving and the tearing up of stores. He said officers were pelted with glass and rocks, and one was shot and wounded on Saturday morning.

Later Sunday, marching to MPD headquarters, a group of protesters stood face-to-face with officers clad in riot gear -- voicing their growing frustrations in the wake of Floyd's death -- taking a moment to lie face down, hands behind their backs.

"I know this is a frustrating time for millions of people in this country,  and there is still the anger, the justifiable anger," said Mayor Barrett Sunday afternoon.

Chief Morales said the vast majority of protesters are exercising their rights in a peaceful manner, but pointed his remarks Sunday at those who, he said, are not -- looting and vandalizing more than 20 businesses Saturday night. The police chief said the businesses being targeted are already struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, and are businesses community members rely on that are owned by community members.

"During the last 48 hours, more than 60 arrests have been made," said Chief Morales. "The reckless, destructive behavior, criminal behavior HAS to end."

Morales said of the dozens arrested, only three were from outside the City of Milwaukee.

"You do not gain anything by tearing up our community," said Chief Morales. "No one wins."

A pair of protesters said they're not here to pull the community apart, but to bring the community together -- handing out water and hand sanitizer -- lifting spirits along the way.

"We are not here fro blood," said Elijah. "We are here to send a message."

"People of all colors are doing it, too, so that's the most beautiful thing about it, absolutely," said a protester.

PHOTO GALLERY

The City of Milwaukee's fine for violating curfew is $691.

The curfew will also continue in Wauwatosa Sunday night into Monday morning. The fee is the same as in Milwaukee. Wauwatosa police said three people were fined Saturday night into Sunday.

The City of Glendale's curfew was already set to run through Monday morning.

Kenosha County sheriff's officials on Sunday declared curfew effective at 8:30 p.m. Sunday -- indicating "the public needs to be off the streets for their safety." The sheriff's departmetn will be enforcing the curfew.

Statement from Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Sunday:

“Two days ago, I issued a statement condemning the torture and murder of George Floyd. The outrageous conduct that led to his death occurred over the course of several minutes, but it was 400 years in the making. We must do more to fight racism and discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity.

“Those who have engaged in protests calling for reform must not be confused with those participating in looting, vandalism, and violence. The latter group, unlike peaceful protestors, are not part of the just cause of seeking positive change. Their acts are destructive of property, of businesses that people have spent years building, and of public safety. And they have, unfortunately, diverted some of the public discourse away from where it belongs.

“Yesterday, the great Rep. John Lewis encouraged those involved in riots to ‘[b]e constructive, not destructive.’ He explained, ‘History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.’”

Statement from the Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum Sunday:

"We are distraught and angered by the senseless death of George Floyd, but we know this is not an isolated case. Racial biases, abuses of power and injustices continue to plague communities throughout the country, including Milwaukee. There needs to be more accountability.

"As an organization, we remain deeply committed to address issues of social injustice and to make meaningful change for African-Americans and all marginalized members of our community."

Statement from Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Keith Posley Sunday:

"I extend the utmost sympathy and prayers to the families, friends, and loved ones of Mr. Joel Acevedo and Mr. George Floyd. Our hearts are filled with sadness and disgust with more brutal deaths of Black and Latino men.

"Our community, our city, our nation is in pain due to the ongoing racism that exists and the increasing number of deaths of Black men. Black men are being killed at the hands of law enforcement is unacceptable and unbearable.

"The protests taking place in our city and around the nation reflect our anger and outrage of injustice. I believe the protesters intend to demonstrate peacefully and expect their voices to be heard. To focus more on the disruptors and damage is only a symptom of a much larger issue and should not be used as the narrative to distract from the injustice that people of color face. We need solutions and a cure to heal our people.

I join the nation in calling for healing and justice for our community and throughout the country."

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