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Coalition for Justice, Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee, Tosa

Nate Hamilton (right), brother of Dontre Hamilton, has a discussion with MPD Assistant Chief James Harpole about where the group could march.
Nate Hamilton (right), brother of Dontre Hamilton, has a discussion with MPD Assistant Chief James Harpole about where the group could march. Credit: Mike De Sisti
July 12, 2016
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By Hannah Schwarz and Jessie Bekker of the Journal Sentinel

July 12, 2016 0

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn warned protesters headed to downtown's Red Arrow Park to rally against the killings of young black men by police Tuesday afternoon that marching without a permit could lead to arrests.

Protesters gathered for a second day in a row, and on Tuesday they remained on the sidewalk, as requested by police at the scene. Before the gathering got under way, protest organizer Nate Hamilton and others had heated exchanges with officers at the scene about the arrest threat.

Coalition for Justice members plan to meet 6 p.m. Thursday at All People's Church - Florist Campus at 5975 N. 40th St. to discuss their next moves.

They'll also meet with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm Saturday, July 23 to brainstorm solutions to tension between the city's police force and its black community.

"We're trying to set the trend here," said Nate Hamilton, brother of Dontre Hamilton who was fatally shot 14 times by an officer at the park in 2014. Nate and his mother, Maria Hamilton, led the cohort of protesters representing Coalition for Justice.

On Tuesday, protesters spent most of their three hour gathering calling for "cultural competency" within the force and reminding each other they "can't be stopped."

"We are not backing down," Samuel Alford said. "You (the police) don't abuse us openly and then tell us to (rally) quietly."

Milwaukee High School of Languages alumna Savannha Pyatt and senior Shondriona Knight sang an original song about their love for both the police force and their Milwaukee community. A circle of onlooking protesters at Red Arrow Park clapped along.

"At the end of the day, we're still brothers and sisters," Pyatt said. And to Knight, "there's a peaceful way to go about this."

Also Tuesday afternoon, in Wauwatosa, about 20 protesters with Blackout United, a group affiliated with Black Lives Matter, gathered at Mayfair mall to protest the death of Jay Anderson, who was shot in Madison Park by a Wauwatosa police officer.

The protesters, clad in all black and chanting slogans like "Ain't no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don't stop" and "Hands up, don't shoot," walked throughout the mall from about 4 to 6:30 p.m. One of the protesters said they encountered no issues with security officials.

The protest at the mall follows one Friday. The protesters said they plan to come back to the mall at 4 p.m. on Wednesday for another rally.

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