Bodycam shows gunman reaching for gun moments before cop shot him, sister wants police charged

As family, friends and supporters gathered at a vigil held for the 23-year-old armed man who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer, some said they hope the officer will be charged.

Outrage and anger spread over Milwaukee on Saturday night as at least six businesses and one police car was set ablaze following the shooting death of Sylville K Smith after a traffic stop. Seven squad cars were damaged and two bus shelters were thrown into the streets.

During a vigil held for Smith on Sunday evening, his older sister, 24-year-old Kimberly Neal encouraged peace in Milwaukee and called for the officer who shot her brother to be prosecuted.

Family and friends of Smith gathered on Sunday in the area where he was shot and killed. Smith's younger sister, Sherelle Smith, 22, told the Journal-Sentinel that her brother carried a gun because he was scared and needed to protect himself, not because he was violent 

Supporters surrounded 24-year-old Kimberly Neal, who is Smith's older sister, as she held a bouquet of blue balloons. She asked the crowd for donations for his burial. Neal said that she just hopes her family gets justice and wants prosecutors to file charges against the officer

Smith's younger sister, Sherelle Smith, 22, spoke of her heartache and pain over the loss of her brother. She said: 'I can't get him back. Never. That's pain.' She said her brother carried a gun because he was scared and needed to protect himself, not because he was violent. Pictured are supporters during the vigil held Sunday 

Several people gathered at the area where Sylville Smith was killed and lit candles, held balloons and brought out signs calling for 'respect and love' as well as peace 

She asked the crowd for donations for his burial and said that she just hopes her family gets justice and wants prosecutors to file charges against the officer, who is also black.

Supporters surrounded her as she held balloons on the spot where her brother was killed.

When she was asked about the violence on Saturday night, Neal said: ‘People stuck together and they are trying to stand up,’ for their rights.

‘At the end of the day, acting out ain’t gonna solve it. Ain’t gonna solve nothing for Sylville. The city went crazy [Saturday] night over Syville. We tired of it. We tired,’ Neal told FOX 6.

Smith’s younger sister, Sherelle Smith, 22, told the Journal-Sentinel that her brother carried a gun because he was scared and needed to protect himself, not because he was violent.

‘I lost my brother. I can’t get him back. Never. Never. That’s pain. I can’t look him in the eye no more, Smith told FOX 6.

An unidentified family member of Smith's lights candles and puts them down along the fence where Smith lay on the ground after having been shot Saturday

She said he was known around the neighborhood for his style and dance moves.

‘He was a ladies’ man. That’s the worst thing about him,’ she said.

After the vigil, protesters went across the street to the ruins of the BP gas station that was destroyed in the violence and began singing hymns.

Officials first identified Sylville Smith as the man who was shot by the 24-year-old officer on Sunday.

Authorities said Smith had been previously charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety for his involvement in a shooting last year, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

During a press conference Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said a photo shows ‘without question’ Smith had a gun in his hand.

Barrett said that Smith had ‘more firepower than the officer’, and his handgun was loaded with 23 rounds, which he refused to drop when ordered by police.

The death of Sylville Smith, who was shot by an officer, sparked the riots   His shooting death sparked outrage among residents in the community

'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,' Patrick Smith (pictured) told FOX 6

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A Flynn said officers wore body cameras as they approached the vehicle, which they found suspicious, and within 20 to 25 seconds Smith, who had a lengthy rap sheet, was dead.

Flynn said he wasn’t sure what prompted the stop, but said Smith’s car was ‘behaving suspiciously’.

He also said that he would like the body cam video to be released as soon as possible, following due process.

Flynn said he believes his officer feared for his life before shooting Smith.

Smith’s father, Patrick Smith, said he blames himself for his son’s death.

‘When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get.

‘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.

‘Now somebody got killed reaching for his wallet, but now they can say he got a gun on him and they reached for it. And that’s justifiable,’ Patrick Smith told FOX 6.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, Smith received the two charges following a shooting last year, but the details of that shooting were not immediately clear.

The charges were later dismissed.

From jail Smith called his girlfriend and asked her to pressure a victim into recanting their previous statement, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Smith (pictured) had previously been charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety for his involvement in a shooting last year but the charges were dropped 

‘When they get this letter, this (expletive) gone, then my case should be out of here,’ Smith said in one call to his girlfriend.

Smith made several calls asking his girlfriend to stay on top of the victim. The victim later filed a statement recanting their previous identification of Smith as the perpetrator.

Despite the recorded phone calls prosecutors dropped the charges.

It is unclear why this decision was made.

Most of Smith’s other charges were mostly for non-violent misdemeanors including speeding, retail theft and THC possession, the New York Daily News reported.

Smith’s father Patrick Smith said: ‘I don’t know when we’re gonna start moving. I’ve gotta start with my kids and we gotta change our ways, to be better role models.

‘And we gotta change ourselves. We’ve gotta talk to them, put some sense into them.

‘They targeting us, but we know about it so there’s no reason to keep saying it’s their fault.’

Violent protests erupted in Milwaukee after more than 100 people gathered in a standoff with police following the shooting. Pictured are burned cars in the parking lot of the BP gas station from Saturday night's riots 

Sheriff David Clarke said Sunday that a repeat of the previous night's violence on the city's north side cannot be allowed and asked governor Scott Walker for assistance 

Mildred Haynes, Smith’s mother, said she has been told very little about the death of her son, who was father to a two-year-old boy.

‘My son is gone due to the police killing my son. I am lost,’ Haynes said.

Haynes said her son had recently gotten his concealed carry license because he had been shot twice and robbed four times, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

During one robbery he was stripped of all of his clothing.

She said she doesn’t think Smith pulled a gun on police but she does think he might have run from the officer and tried to hide.

Smith’s godmother, Katherine Mahmoud, told the Journal Sentinel: ‘I’m not going to say he was an angel. He was out here living his life.’

She said that the family had nothing to do with the overnight riots and they’re ‘not very happy about it’.

On Sunday, the Milwaukee County sheriff asked for help from the National Guard after violence broke out in Milwaukee in response to police shooting Smith.

Sheriff David Clarke said Sunday that a repeat of the previous night’s violence on the city’s north side cannot be allowed.

He says he has consulted with Governor Scott Walker. Clarke added that Smith had been arrested 13 times during a news conference Sunday.

‘He’s got a bunch of drug arrests here, robbery, use of force,’ Clarke said.

A spokesman for Walker hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment.

Police and city leaders have said they have the resources to handle the situation.

Community members and volunteers help clean up the damage to a few local business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Violent protests erupted in Milwaukee after more than 100 people gathered in a standoff with police following the shooting of Smith after a traffic stop and foot chase on Saturday.

Police said Smith was armed with a handgun, but Assistant Chief Bill Jessup told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it wasn’t immediately clear whether the man had pointed a gun or fired at the officer.

They described Smith as a suspect, but didn’t say what led to the traffic stop.

The violence exploded near North Sherman Boulevard and West Burleigh Street after the traffic stop about a block away, on the 3200 block of North 44th Street.

Some people in the crowd wore riot gear as they stood in the standoff with police, several hours after the shooting, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Officers got in their cars to leave at one point and some in the crowd started smashing a squad car’s windows. Another police car was set on fire.

Several other vehicles were also set on fire. A total of seven squad cars were damaged.

The police department tweeted that one officer was taken to a hospital after he was struck by a brick thrown through his squad car window.

Police also tweeted that a BP gas station had been set on fire.

Initially firefighters were unable to extinguish the blaze because gunshots were being fired.

A total of four buildings were set on fire, including the gas station, according to WISN.

A BP gas station (pictured) had been set on fire during the violent protests in Milwaukee 

An O’Reilly’s auto parts store and a beauty supply store called Jet Beauty among the buildings set ablaze.

The BMO Harris Bank was also set on fire as smoke billowed from its windows.

By late Saturday night, fires were also reported at a neighborhood supermarket and a liquor store.

The station also reported that several stores had been looted.

The shooting that sparked the tensions occurred about 3.30pm after officers stopped a car with two people inside.

Police Capt Mark Stanmeyer said in a news release that the two people in the car got out and ran and the officers chased them.

He said Smith, who was one of the people fleeing, was armed with a handgun and was shot by an officer during the pursuit. He said the man died at the scene.

Stanmeyer said he had an arrest record, and that the handgun he carried had been stolen in a March burglary in suburban Waukesha.

The 24-year-old officer who shot the man has been placed on administrative duty. The officer’s name wasn’t immediately released.

He has been with the Milwaukee department six years, three as an officer.

Police also have the video from the body camera that the officer was wearing at the time of the shooting.

Investigators will review the body camera footage along with footage from nearby surveillance cameras where the incident occurred.

During the unrest a 16-year-old was shot and injured, four officers were injured, including a female officer who was hit by concrete and suffered a concussion, Flynn said Sunday.

The officers have been released from the hospital. Authorities said 17 people were arrested during the violent protests.

Source: The DailyMail

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