And while city leaders called a press conference to ask for calm, Alderman Khalif Rainey made plenty of excuses, stopping short of outright condoning the violence.
The alderman said Milwaukee is “the absolute worst place in America for African-Americans to live in the entire country.”
He said black people are “tired of living under this oppression” and while he said he didn’t justify the violence itself, “nobody can deny that there are racial problems here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that have to be rectified.”
Rainey even seemed to threaten more violence.
“This is the warning cry,” he said of the rioters burning their community to the ground and shooting at firefighters who tried to put out a gas station fire.
“Where do we go from here?” he asked. “Where do we go as a community from here? Do we continue with the inequity, the injustice, the unemployment, the under-education that creates these byproducts that we see this evening? Do we continue that?”
He demanded that the black people’s grievances be rectified immediately.
“Because if you don’t, this vision of downtown, all of that,” he threatened. “You one day away. You one day away (from it happening again).”