Violent protests have broken out on the streets of Milwaukee, a city in mid-western US, overnight on 13 August after news emerged that police officers shot and killed a 23-year-old armed suspect. Authorities said officers shot and killed the man after he fled from a car on Milwaukee's North Side, when stopped by police in traffic at about 3.30pm on 13 August.
The man was believed to be carrying a stolen handgun loaded with 23 rounds of ammunition when he was pulled over in his vehicle for "suspicious activity". A spokesperson for Milwaukee Police said: "The suspect is a 23-year-old Milwaukee man with lengthy arrest record. The handgun he was armed with was taken in a burglary in Waukesha in March of this year."
Police have not said whether the man fired any shots or pointed the weapon at officers during the incident, however, a second suspect who fled from the vehicle now remains in custody. According to Reuters, 100 protesters fired gunshots, hurled bricks and rocks, and set some buildings on fire, including a gas station.
Authorities have said that gunshots were fired during the disturbance and windows of at least two police cars were smashed. One police officer was hit in the head by a brick while sitting inside one of the police squad cars and is now undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
Mayor Tom Barrett has appealed for calm, saying: "This is a neighbourhood that has been unfortunately affected by violence in the recent past. There are a lot of really, really good people who live in this area… and can't stand this violence."
At 1am local time, police said three arrests had been made in connection to the protests and one hour later confirmed that they were restoring order to the area and reducing police deployments. The officer involved in the shooting of the armed suspect is a 24-year-old had been with the force for six years and an officer for three years.
The unnamed officer was not injured during the incident and has been placed on administrative duty until an investigation is completed, as well as a subsequent review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. Milwaukee Police confirmed that this was standard practice after any shooting involved the city's law enforcement officials.
Many have taken to Twitter since the unrest to post images and videos of the violent protests. The hashtag #MilwaukeeUprising quickly began trending on Twitter, with many commenting on repression of African-Americans in the city and high levels of racial tensions.
Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey said: "This is a warning cry. Black people of Milwaukee are tired. They are tired of living under this oppression."