Protests which turned violent in Milwaukee following the shooting death of an armed African-American motorist on Tuesday, Aug. 13 were provoked by members of the Chicago chapter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, according to Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
It is not known how many Party members traveled to Milwaukee to riot.
The death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith at the hands of a Milwaukee police officer inspired several days of protests which culminated in the burning of six buildings. Police say 14 rioters were arrested and seven police officers were injured, one seriously.
Smith pointed a semiautomatic handgun at police before being shot.
A spokesperson for the Party admitted members from its Chicago chapter did travel to “Brew City” to support protests, but according to Milwaukee authorities, Party members immediately organized a march which transformed into a melee with protesters recklessly running through streets and overturning street barricades and orange safety cones.
“They (Revolutionary Communist protesters) showed up, and actually they’re the ones who started to cause problems,” Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said at a Monday press conference.
The Party released a statement Monday describing the riots and violence as a “righteous rebellion” against police. Chicago chapter president Carl Dix told the Associated Press:
“This system sees police wantonly murdering people as part of the normal order of things. The killer cops always get off. People are sick of that.”
Dix continued to express the Party “seeks to demolish America’s police forces completely” when asked about the violent protests in which Party members participated. Dix later added attempted to shift attention to law enforcement instead of the fact Smith pointed a loaded weapon at police and a preliminary judgement by police determined the shooting was justified.
The Revolutionary Communist Party has been active at anti-police protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of Michael Brown and in Chicago after the death of Laquan McDonald.
[AP] [Live Leak] [Photo courtesy Facebook/tory.lowe via heavy.com]