In a pattern that’s become all too familiar around the nation, the death of a black man at the hands of a police officer has sparked riots. This time it’s in Milwaukee.
Here’s a lengthy article on the subject in the local Milwaukee paper, the Journal Sentinel. The article manages to impart a great deal of information and offer a great many quotes without ever mentioning two salient facts: that the man who was shot was black, and that the police officer who shot him was also black.
The first fact is very strongly implied by the Journal Sentinel article’s content. But the second fact could not possibly be deduced from anything in that article.
And here we have a ghastly quote from the sister of the deceased man (his name was Sylville Smith and hers is Kimberly Neal), a quote that was apparently truncated by CNN but appears in a more complete version in a video:
CNN did its best to attribute a peaceful element to the protests on Monday morning by featuring one of Smith’s sisters calling for peace. “Don’t bring that violence here,” said Kimberly Neal, one of Smith’s sisters.
Despite CNN’s selective editing, Neal was not calling for peace — she was calling for peace in black neighborhoods and requesting that rioters instead target the white community for violence. “Burning down sh*t ain’t going to help nothing,” she continued. “Y’all burning down sh*t we need in our community. Take that sh*t to the suburbs. Burn that sh*t down. We need our weave.”
On the other hand, Smith’s father offered a rambling speech in which he alternately blamed lack of gun control (he seems to be against the Second Amendment) and some vague and powerful “they,” but he also blamed himself and the poor example he set for his son:
I had to blame myself for a lot of things too because your hero is your dad and I played a very big part in my family’s role model for them. Being on the street, doing things of the street life: Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like ‘he’s doing all these things.’ I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail and they see those things so I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to. When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get.
Can’t argue with that part.
Here’s more background as to why the officer stopped Smith and why Smith was shot:
The incident started Saturday afternoon when two officers stopped two people who were in a car in the north side, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.
“I was advised it was a suspicious stop. This vehicle was behaving in a suspicious manner. It’s a rental car as it turns out. We’ve not ascertained its status as to whether or not it was lawfully rented or stolen,” Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after, both car occupants fled on foot as officers pursued them, police said.
During the chase, an officer shot one of the two — 23-year-old Sylville Smith, who was armed with a handgun, according to authorities.
“He (officer) ordered that individual to drop his gun, the individual did not drop his gun,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “He had the gun with him and the officer fired several times.”
Smith at the scene. It’s unclear whether the second occupant of the car is in police custody.
Smith was shot twice — in the arm and chest, the mayor said. His handgun was stolen during a burglary in Waukesha in March, according to police.
Family members told FOX6 News Smith leaves behind a son and daughter.
“The victim of that burglary reported 500 rounds of ammunition were also stolen with the handgun,” police said in a statement.
The officer was wearing a body camera at the time. There were 23 rounds in Smith’s gun. Smith had a history of dismissed charges against him for a number of offenses, as well as a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
None of these facts seem to matter to the rioters.