Dozens of Milwaukee businesses damaged by looting as weekend protests turn violent at night

Trend Benderz was one of the businesses damaged in Milwaukee by looters Friday night. Photo from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.
Trend Benderz was one of the businesses damaged in Milwaukee by looters. Photo from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Last updated on June 2nd, 2020 at 01:34 pm

Thousands of people in Milwaukee participated in demonstrations throughout the city during the weekend expressing outrage for incidents that have resulted in the death of African American suspects during confrontations with police, sparked in particular by the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A Minneapolis police officer is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of Floyd.

Milwaukee is just one of several cities in American where similar protests occurred during the weekend.

The protests in Milwaukee were peaceful during the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but turned violent at night, resulting in damage and looting to dozens of businesses over the course of the weekend.

Police said 16 businesses were looted Friday night. That included the Walgreens, Boost Mobile and Fast & Friendly grocery store near North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West Locust Street.

“We’re here to help the community, not to hurt it so we should all work together to make things better,” Boost Mobile operation manager Ray Hamdan said to WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Trend Benderz, a store at 35th Street and Capitol Drive, was also looted and damaged Friday night. The owner of the store told Channel 12 that the store had suffered at least $700,000 in damage and stolen items.

A Milwaukee police officer sustained a non-fatal gunshot injury while responding to the area of 200 West Locust Street Friday night, according to the Police Department.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett instituted a 9 p.m. curfew Saturday night until 7 a.m. and Gov. Tony Evers deployed the National Guard, at the request of Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, to assist Milwaukee police. Barrett again set a curfew for 9 p.m. Sunday night until 7 a.m. Monday morning. Wauwatosa and Glendale also issued curfews Saturday and Sunday night.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said about 20 businesses were looted or damaged Saturday night. Looters broke into the Cricket store at Capitol Drive and 22nd Street, Channel 12 reported. The Jet Beauty Supply store at 3501 W. Burleigh St. was also looted Saturday night, according to a report by TMJ4. As was the nearby Boost Mobile store at 3527 W. Burleigh St., and the Boost Mobile store at Burleigh and 76th Street according to CBS 58. A pair of Metro PCS stores were looted Saturday night, including the store at Fond du Lac Avenue and Center Street, CBS 58 reported.

Barrett on Sunday said that private property destruction and store looting occurred Saturday night in the area of North King Drive and West Locust Avenue and in the area of 100 East Capitol Drive.

Additional businesses in Milwaukee were looted Sunday night. Morales said 24 stores were burglarized and 11 were damaged in Milwaukee, Sunday night.

Barrett extended the city’s curfew to Monday night, beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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