Demonstrators stop downtown traffic, criticize President Obama
MILWAUKEE - Several dozen demonstrators brought Monday evening rush hour traffic to a standstill on two of downtown's busiest streets.
They chanted phrases like, "Whose Streets? Our streets!"
The marchers criticized Milwaukee police, even as officers from that department responded and provided a safe escort to the federal courthouse.
Organizers called the rally to stand in solidarity with the family of the black teenager killed in Ferguson, Missouri. They also expressed anger that police have not released the name of the officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park.
"I'm pleased with both the protesters' ability to exercise peacefully and the professionalism displayed by the Milwaukee Police Department," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in an e-mailed statement.
Craig Stingley called out President Obama for responding to Ferguson, but not Milwaukee. Stingley's 16-year-old son Corey attempted to shoplift at a West Allis convenience store and died after being restrained by customers.
"What does the president say? He sends Eric Holder. He sends 40 FBI agents to the streets of Ferguson because these people took to the streets and started tearing up the city," Stingley told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "Is that what he wants to see?"
U.S. Attorney James Santelle declined to comment as he left the courthouse.
"I'm already late for something else," Santelle said.
Alderman Bob Donovan blasted the demonstrators.
"By God, if you're disrupting traffic on Wisconsin Avenue and Water, you ought to be arrested as far as I'm concerned," Donovan said.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office is reviewing the Dontre Hamilton case.