MILWAUKEE -- Demonstrators embarked on a very long walk Monday, June 1. Those involved say law enforcement was supportive as they made their way through the suburbs, but were met with aggression when they tried to return to Milwaukee.
It was mostly a peaceful march as hundreds walked through the city streets all the way to the north shore. Neighbors and law enforcement alike were supportive, some demonstrators said.
"For the most part, we were met with open arms and cheers," said demonstrator Arthur Cameron.
But in the early morning hours when they tried to make their way back home, protesters say they were met with a line of law enforcement at Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive. Cameron filmed the encounter.
Demonstrators with their hands in the air near Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive (Credit: Arthur Cameron)
"It was textbook ambush," Cameron said.
The military veteran and friends were part of the march, acting as medics to those who may have needed help. As the crowd marched forward, Cameron says chaos erupted.
"They put tire spikes down to stop all the cars, took one vehicle and rammed our front truck," said Cameron.
Law enforcement presence near Port Washington Road and Capitol Drive
"They started shooting tear gas right away," demonstrator Andrew Jansen said.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales
It's something that Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales denied.
"I can't tell you who did that. I don't know. You're talking about Milwaukee County law enforcement groups throughout the city, and they're not just protesting in the city," said Morales.
Cameron and his friends got home safely, though disappointed with the outcome of the night.
"It just wasn't called for. I could understand if we were violent or if we were antagonizing in any way, but we weren't," Cameron said.
The group of demonstrators FOX6 News spoke with said anyone who acted up -- throwing rocks or trying to spray paint -- was asked to stop or leave. They said they don't want such actions to detract from the message.