Police: Tear gas used to disperse protesters amid 'unlawful assembly' in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- A tense scene unfolded in Milwaukee Tuesday evening, June 2 amid ongoing protests over the officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

FOX6's cameras captured a crowd gathered near 6th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue, and police lined up, facing the protesters.


Earlier Tuesday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced he would not be issuing a curfew for Tuesday night. However, he said, "If conditions warrant, I will, on short notice, institute a citywide curfew."

FOX6's Kasey Chronis reported from the scene several demonstrators were tackled by officers and it appeared they were taken into custody. It's unclear what sparked the confrontation.

At this point, protesters began throwing water bottles at officers as the large group of officers in riot gear descended on protesters, tear gas was set off and rubber bullets were fired.

An MPD official on a loudspeaker told the group they had 10 minutes to disperse -- and many did but some did not -- using construction barrels to form a blockade of their own.

An MPD spokeswoman said protesters were "ordered to disperse due to unlawful assembly after throwing rocks and glass at our officers."

Someone who was in the crowd who had a gun was taken into custody.

The MPD spokeswoman added, "For our safety and the safety of our residents we had used gas to disperse the crowd. We are asking that all individuals disperse."

Milwaukee police said there were approximately 27 arrests Tuesday. Additionally, police said approximately three stores were burglarized, one store was damaged and approximately seven vehicles were towed "in regard to civil unrest."