A chaotic crowd of people angry about the disappearance of two girls burned a vacant home and a van in Milwaukee on June 23, after people accused police of not responding quickly enough to concerns the girls were being sex trafficked at the dwelling. You can watch videos from the scene later in this article. Be aware that some of the videos have graphic language.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said in an evening press conference, which you can watch below, that “several shots were fired in the crowd. Three individuals were shot during this event. None by police. Those three victims are at a local hospital getting help for their non-life-threatening injuries, and we’re still investigating that.”
— #FirstThem NEWS?? (@FirstThemNEWS) June 24, 2020
He said that one of the two missing teenagers was located, and police were still trying to locate the second girl (activists say both were found.) Morales said police didn’t get the cooperation they needed from family. “This whole chain of events could have been avoided,” Morales said.
He said there are people who “want to live in normalcy.” He said that people who live in that area of the City of Milwaukee “choose to live” there, and police are there to “preserve life.” He said “we can not let stuff happen.”
Milwaukee burned down this Pedophiles house today. pic.twitter.com/QtqdFIUyTa
— Sarah McKenzie (@sarah_veenstra) June 24, 2020
A reporter told Morales that people in the crowd said they don’t believe police care when black children go missing.
“We investigate the information that is given to us,” Morales said. “We can’t allow an unruly crowd to determine what that investigation is. What you had today is vigilantism. You had people take the law into their own hands and run off of information that has not been proven. We need to investigate that… we need to determine what crimes have been committed.”
He said police had not gotten the cooperation they needed to “push forward.” He said there was no information to prove as fact the accusations that the house was used for sex trafficking.
There were multiple calls for service to that house before. “We have responded to that house, to that location, multiple times in the last two days,” said Morales.
“We have to be allowed to conduct our investigation and not chase a crowd and take that information from that crowd,” he said. “…The police need to determine the facts.”
— roberto pedone (@zerosum24) June 23, 2020
He added, “We’ve been there all day today… trying to defuse things and conduct an investigation.” He said there “were some people removed from that residence,” but he didn’t detail for what. He did say police used less lethal measures but didn’t fire their weapons. People in the crowd threw bricks at police, he said, and multiple officers suffered injuries. As the chief spoke, the bangs from what sounded like fireworks went off in the background.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Girls Were Missing Since Sunday
According to Urban Milwaukee.com, two teenage girls were missing since Sunday afternoon but have now been found. However, a crowd burned down a house believed to be “connected to their disappearance.” Eventually, the site reported, the house was set on fire. Police “started using batons and pepper spray on the crowd,” Urban Milwaukee reported.
Milwaukee police, along with agencies throughout the United States, have faced calls to defund their department in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Not long after the fire, police reported a shooting had also occurred in the area, writing, “Milwaukee Police are investigating a non-fatal shooting that occurred Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at approximately 7:36 p.m., on the area of the 4000 block of W. Lloyd Street. The victim was in a vehicle when several shots were fired at the vehicle.” Police added, “The victim, a 24-year-old man from Milwaukee sustained non-life threatening injuries. He walked into District Three to report it and refused medical treatment. Milwaukee Police continues to seek unknown suspects.”
Caroline Reinwald, a journalist with WISN-TV, wrote, “Things getting very tense in an alley at 39th and Lloyd in a missing girls case. Two teenage girls are missing, the crowd here says this house is where they were last seen. People in the crowd tell me it’s a known sex trafficking house. Police have not confirmed.” WTMJ-TV reported that it all started around 4 p.m., and “demonstrators had been seen throwing items toward one of the homes.”
Things getting very tense in an alley at 39th and Lloyd in a missing girls case. Two teenage girls are missing, the crowd here says this house is where they were last seen. People in the crowd tell me it’s a known sex trafficking house. Police have not confirmed. @WISN12News pic.twitter.com/GiGiDhVKUp
— Caroline Reinwald (@WISN_Caroline) June 23, 2020
Livestream Videos Captured the Chaos at the Scene
“Milwaukee police are surrounding a neighborhood as people have burned a house they believe was used for sex trafficking at 40th & Lloyd,” WISN-TV reported on Facebook. The television station identified the girls as Gilbreana Perkins, 13, and Tydrianna Perkins, 15. At one point, officers showed up at the scene and a tense encounter erupted. After officers left on the afternoon of June 23, members of the crowd “began smashing the van windows and breaking into the house,” according to WISN.
— Yella Ninjaa (@yellaninjaaa) June 23, 2020
Community activist Frank Nitty posted several lengthy livestreams on Facebook, writing, “Missing kids tracked to this house??????.” Nitty’s lengthy videos showed a chaotic and contentious scene.
He also reported that the girls were found.
Amanda Schlicher Press wrote on Facebook, “Today in Milwaukee: BLM demonstrators send their own medics to the scene of girls’ disappearance and recovery to treat people injured in the unrest. Because who has time to wait for 911 to give a f*ck about Black folks?” She added, “Today in Milwaukee: Police treat Black neighborhoods like their kids don’t matter. Neighbors make search parties and do the cops’ damn job for them. Cops tear gas them for being angry about it.”
In a lengthy post, she wrote,
There’s a huge situation going on in the north side right now and the news is HOURS behind on it.
Cliff’s notes: Two Black teenage girls went missing on Sunday. No Amber Alert was issued, the police decided they were not endangered and didn’t bother looking for them. Last night or early this morning (Tuesday), one of the girl’s mom tracked her daughter’s phone to a house near 40th and Lloyd. They called the police, they waited 10 hours, but the police never responded to the call. A group of neighbors showed up at the house to knock on the door and look for the girls and when they did, shots were fired at them from inside. THEN the police showed up, arrested the people who were shooting from within the house, but claimed to not see any evidence of the girls there, and left the scene. Neighbors entered the (empty?) house and van parked outside to look for the girls and found bloody shorts (but no evidence of teenage girls apparently). House is connected with a known sex predator and it was suspected that the girls had been lured or grabbed for sex trafficking. Some hours later, unidentified persons set both the van and the house on fire. A search party of neighbors, NOT the police, found the two missing girls, and two other missing children, around 4:00pm. They were following neighbors’ tips from house to house that appear to be a straight up sex trafficking ring. They were doing this while dozens of police officers were ON SCENE doing nothing but harassing and intimidating residents. Police on the scene started using tear gas and rubber bullets on angry neighbors who were doing their jobs for them.
Edited to add: This post has gained a lot more traction than I expected, so just a reminder, this is my page, not a community post. I will delete comments and I will block people. We’re not going to use this as a place to argue and don’t share your opinion unless you have actual information to add.
Schlicher Press describes herself on Facebook as “Photographer, atheist, warrior of humanistic fellowship, dog-lover, glasses-wearer, and wife.”
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