'Listen more than act:' Chief Morales addresses unrest, misinformation on social media

MILWAUKEE --Police say misinformation on social media led to a volatile, destructive and fiery situation at 40th and Lloyd on Tuesday.

"There were individuals that have been marching throughout the last three weeks that were present that have lost credibility for being involved what occurred on 40th and Lloyd," Morales said.

In an exclusive conversation with chief Alfonso Morales and his assistant chiefs Thursday, Morales said the crowd took action without finding the facts.

"Listen more than act," Morales said.

Regina Howard

"Those people there, they deserve to live in their house in peace. Now they're terrorized and that is sad to me as well," Assistant Police Chief Regina Howard said.

During a search for two missing Milwaukee girls, members of the crowd accused some of the tenants of being associated with sex trafficking amid online rumors police say turned out to be false. Police say there is no evidence to suggest the missing girls were at the home.

"They have nothing now because someone came up with a story or a narrative because now these people have no home and they have absolutely nothing left," Howard said.

Activists have accused law enforcement of not trying hard enough to find the missing girls.

Vaun Mayes

"Just do your job thoroughly. Do it right, do it correctly, do it with dignity," Mayes said.

Following the violence and unrest, Chief Morales says the department is working to strengthen community relationships so something like this doesn`t happen again.

"It's not a wrong time, it's actually a good time start looking at our faith and look at ways not to cast stones but at ways to listen to each other. Again, a two-way street," Morales said.

Milwaukee police have made at least one arson arrest and are looking for more suspects.

Police say the girls have been found and there is no evidence they were at the home that was set on fire.

Complete interview with Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales