WAUWATOSA, Wis. — Police arrested 28 people during a third straight night of protests over the lack of charges against a suburban Milwaukee police officer who fatally shot a Black teen, authorities said Saturday.
About 100 people gathered outside City Hall on Friday past Wauwatosa’s 7 p.m. curfew and refused multiple orders to disperse, according to police.
Police said two of the arrests were for felonies, one was for a misdemeanor and 25 were for municipal citations. Police said some of the people arrested were blocking traffic, others had tried to start fires, and one person had materials to start a fire, including lighter fluid. Police said one person in the group posted a picture of himself with a handgun — though it was not clear if he was among those arrested.
Two people arrested were evaluated for minor injuries, police said.
Protesters have gathered every day since prosecutors announced Wednesday that they would not charge Officer Joseph Mensah in 17-year-old Alvin Cole’s death. Mensah, who is Black, shot Cole after a foot chase outside a Wauwatosa mall in February.
About an hour after Friday’s curfew went into effect, law enforcement began advancing toward the crowd. Police said some protesters threw rocks and bottles at law enforcement, and police said they used chemical irritants, which they described as tear gas, as well as pepper balls and paint balls in self-defense.
Video posted to Twitter by local reporters showed heavy smoke in the air as police advanced, and multiple people taken into custody.
Windows were broken at a Snap Fitness center, police said.
One of the people arrested was driving one of three vehicles that had come to the Wauwatosa Police Department early Saturday. The vehicle almost hit an officer, according to police. The driver got into a second vehicle, and police arrested the person after a short chase, authorities said.
“We can appreciate the anger and frustration that exists among those closely affected by recent events,” police said in a statement Saturday.
A 7 p.m. curfew was to be in effect again on Saturday and Sunday nights. The National Guard is assisting local police.
The protests in Wauwatosa are just the latest in a series of demonstrations against police racism and brutality that have erupted across the country since George Floyd’s death. Floyd, who was Black, died in May after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee into his neck as Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breathe.