Milwaukee police told people during a vigil at the Sylville Smith’s make-shift memorial tree to clear the area, some were arrested when they refused to leave within 15 minutes.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
August 31, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Tuesday, an estimated 200 Milwaukee police officers were deployed to shut down the Sylville Smith’s make-shift Memorial area N. 43 and W. Auer. A Milwaukee police inspector ordered for police to clear people from the make-shift memorial site where Smith, 23, was killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan, 24.
Just before 8:00 p.m., police told people who had gathered for a vigil at the make-shift memorial that they had 15 minutes to clear the area, according to a cellphone video by Frank Nitty II who posted it on Facebook. In the video, an officer was heard that it was enough time to grieve, which according to him, people had been mourning for two weeks. Another officer responded that it is time to take back the neighborhood, which Nitty responded, taking back the neighborhood from the same neighbors in the area. According to Nitty, neighbors were not complaining that people from Sherman Park were gathered peacefully at the make-shift memorial for Smith.
Nitty confirmed that he was arrested on Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct along with Vaun Mayes and Gab Taylor. Police say that at least 10 people were arrested.
It seems, the police were instigating the mourners and were giving them a limited time to mourn, according to Nitty. Nitty says, that police kept his cellphone and that they had a warrant to keep it, but didn’t produced one and the police department failed to identify the officers that arrested him.
Video warning, adult language: Milwaukee police shut down Sylville Smith’s make-shift Memorial https://youtu.be/z9DMVyccQns
Cops blocking memorial threatening to take it down. http://bit.ly/2bHPEPB
Milwaukee police dispersing people from the Sylville Smith’s vigil site https://youtu.be/Fzl4LLIGo3s
Update: Sergeant Timothy Gauerke, spokesman from the Milwaukee Police Department Chief of Police Office contacted Hispanic News Network U.S.A. and confirmed that police never threaten to remove the Smith memorial on Tuesday night. Sgt. Gauerke said that he viewed four officers body camera videos from the scene that recorded the incident near the vigil and showed that officers never threaten to take down the memorial. People at the scene alleged that police had threaten to remove the Smith memorial from the tree.
When asked if he viewed the videos posted on Facebook and especially Frank Nitty’s video from Tuesday, Gauerke said, he was familiar with it. But, he didn’t take the video as a valid recording of what had happened because it was an individual’s view point and not from a police source.
The videos posted by Nitty and others speak for themselves.
Gauerke did say, that some people were blocking traffic and smoking marijuana, but were not cited and that public elected officials including aldermen had contacted the police department that neighbors were complaining about people starting problems at the vigil scene.
Gauerke did confirm that 3 people were arrested on Wednesday at the scene near where the Smith memorial is located.
The ACLU of Wisconsin condemned the arrests on Tuesday of an ACLU member and a State Representative. The ACLU released the following statement, “Last night in the Sherman Park area, Milwaukee police officers in riot gear wrongfully arrested Jarrett English, an organizer at the ACLU of Wisconsin, and State Representative Jonathan Brostoff. At about 9:30 pm, a handful of people, including Mr. English and Rep. Brostoff, stood on the north east corner of Sherman Boulevard and Auer Avenue observing a large contingent of police officers who had blocked off Auer on the west side of Sherman. Mr. English was recording what he could with his cell phone. A police van pulled up to the corner and officers exited the van and ordered the people standing on the corner to disperse, without giving a reason for the order. Numerous officers forcibly arrested Mr. English as he was walking away as instructed. He was handcuffed, forced to the ground, involuntarily searched and placed in a paddy wagon with Rep. Brostoff. After officials became aware that they had arrested a state legislator, the two were released without charges.”
The Milwaukee Police Department says that both Wisconsin State Representative Jonathan Brostoff and Jarrett English, an organizer for the ACLU-Milwaukee were held for several minutes after arrest. But a video posted on Facebook by Diamelia Williams shows that they were actually held for over 21 minutes and not for several minutes as police previously reported. https://youtu.be/s6DPnhgXmEo
In brief: On Tuesday, the administrator of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Lives Matter (WLELM) Facebook page posted a comment in the Back The Blue 5K Walk – Downtown Milwaukee targeting Vaun Mayes and attempting for other Whites to stand up against the Afro-Americans in Sherman Park that have had multiple vigils at the site where Sylville Smith, a resident of the Sherman Park neighborhood who was fatally shot by Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan.
These groups composed of mostly White racist followers implied that Vaun Mayes and Michael McGee Jr. are the leaders of the gathering in the Northside area, the instigators and terrorists including the Black Lives Matter group. It seems that the White racists posting in the WLELM don’t believe Blacks have the right to protest against police use of deadly force and the Constitutional right to assemble peacefully in their own neighborhood.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) has included some of the WLELM posts for police and the public to view.