St. Paul, Minnesota (TFC)— Following a not guilty verdict for the officer who shot 32-year-old Philando Castile, large-scale protests have swallowed St. Paul. As militarized police clear streets, independent outlets join them and marchers documenting the drama. Philiando Castile was…
Calm seems to follow each day break here in Milwaukee, the night’s chaos passing with it. That calm is deceptive, insidiously distracting from the night’s atmosphere. A mass catharsis grips the Northside nightly, and has wrought an ominous government presence. It is that presence which is perhaps most unnerving.
Funny how it sometimes takes military units being deployed for people to pay attention to a certain place. As a lifelong Milwaukee resident, I must confess a kind of angst having the entire world’s attention on us. Milwaukee has been rated one of the most segregated American cities, the fourth poorest and yet, only now the world is watching. As if the blaze’s violent brilliance were a beacon, drawing in all manner of onlookers.
Most are aware of the catalyst– that being yet another police shooting. That phrase is beginning to carry it’s own kind of morbid weight it seems,”yet another”. After Milwaukee officers pulled over a car, the occupants ran and police pursued. The runner, 23 year old Sylville K. Smith, allegedly carried a gun as he ran from officers who eventually fired. Police released few initial details, but did offer information on the shooting officer.
An allegedly armed suspect was shot and killed after reportedly fleeing from officers. Riots break out. For those who have been following this series of articles, this should come as no surprise. It appears as though the response from citizens has died out, but the importance of this event cannot be understated. Had other cities joined in the rioting, this could have been the incident that sent the US into the final stage of the cycle of insurgency, which is widespread and open insurrection.
For those just joining this series of articles, a brief recap is in order. The series began in the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson riots. It outlined cycle of insurgency and explained how insurgencies form, mature, and erupt. The series provided milestone events, which would need to occur prior to open rebellion taking hold. They have all occurred. The cycle of insurgency is a historic pattern that has repeated itself throughout history and will continue to do so. The stages are: