(MILWAUKEE) — Relative peace returned to Milwaukee as a 10 p.m. curfew for minors went into effect and community leaders called for calm after two nights of unrest following a police shooting on Saturday.
“We think we are, comparatively speaking, in a positive place,” City Police Chief Ed Flynn said during a Monday-night press conference.
About six people were arrested in the early evening on Monday, city officials said, but the atmosphere appeared to have changed following two days of standoffs between unruly and sometimes violent demonstrators and police. The confrontations began after a Milwaukee officer shot and killed a 23-year-old man on Saturday who officials say was armed and had a criminal record.
Flynn said that some “heated interactions,” led to the handful of arrests, but noted that the streets appeared to have quieted down. “Subjectively there’s been less tonight than there was last night,” he said. Milwaukee police tweeted “No reports of major property damage” Monday night.
Flynn credited community leaders who stepped up and called for calm. Peaceful vigils and prayer gatherings were held without incident.
Mayor Tom Barrett struck a note of cautious optimism, calling the developments on Monday night “very encouraging,” but warning that “things could happen later this evening.”
Eruptions of violence over the two previous nights had taken their toll on the city. More than 30 people were arrested over the weekend. One man was shot in the neck in what officials called a life-threatening injury, while at least one police officer was taken to the hospital. Police said that three squad cars had been damaged — one of them set on fire — while seven officers and four deputies sustained injuries, all from bricks being thrown at their cars on Sunday night. Six business were set on fire, including a gas station that was burned to the ground.
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