Milwaukee joins other embattled parts of the country like Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., where police killings highlight the systemic problems in policing in communities of color.
Milwaukee is a city of nearly 600,000 African-Americans who are overwhelmingly concentrated in the city and a few nearby suburbs. Blacks and Hispanics account for 57% of the city’s residents. By comparison, the surrounding suburban counties are less than 2% African-American and less than 5% Hispanic.
Just as important, the Black poverty rate is 38% compared to the white poverty rate of 8%. Likewise the Black unemployment rate of 16% is higher than the white unemployment rate (6%).
The New York Times reports that “The burning buildings, smashed police cars and scuffles between police officers and angry protesters on Milwaukee’s north side over the weekend might have seemed like a spontaneous eruption, but for many in the city’s marginalized black community, it was an explosive release decades in the making”.
African American’s say the police do not show them respect , and many of Milwaukee’s African-American residents are unsurprised by the fatal shooting of a black man last Saturday by a Black police officer. The details of this event will be made clearer soon, but the problem of racial inequality still exists.
New York Times