Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

After Milwaukee Protests, Will Police Release Video of Weekend Shooting?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

After Milwaukee Protests, Will Police Release Video of Weekend Shooting?

Article excerpt

For the second night in a row Sunday, tensions flared in the Milwaukee neighborhood where a police officer fatally shot an armed black man fleeing a traffic stop on Saturday afternoon. One person was shot and a police officer was injured when the protests turned violent, but there was no repeat of the destruction of businesses that took place during riots on Saturday night.

About 150 people took to the streets Sunday night, followed by clashes with the police. Shots were fired in three locations, protestors threw bottles and rocks at a line of officers in riot gear, and several people were arrested.

A body cam captured the 25-second event when the African- American suspect, Sylville Smith, was shot and killed by a police officer Saturday afternoon. The video has not been made public yet because of the ongoing investigation, but Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called for its quick release. The chief of police has asked for more time before releasing the video.

"I don't think there's anyone in the country who's released a body-worn camera of an officer-involved shooting in 24 hours or 36 hours. I think Chicago set the modern record with a week," Chief Ed Flynn said during a press conference Sunday, according to Fox.

The coming weeks' decision over when and if to release the video to the public adds to a growing national discussion on how transparent police departments should be with the communities they govern. Earlier this year, the Chicago Police Department made available online a trove of video footage and audio clips of open cases that show the use of force and firearms by its officers.

Some see this transparency as a sign of progress, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

With the release of the files, "the police have the opportunity to end decades of secrecy and denial," Craig Futterman, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, told the Monitor.

In Milwaukee, the police department has been working to provide the public with information surrounding the timeline of events. Chief Flynn confirmed that the police officer was also African- American, and pulled over Mr. …

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