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Common Council to look into MPD's response to reported Molotov cocktail incident involving protesters

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Common Council plans to begin public hearings Friday to look into the Milwaukee Police Department's response during a reported Molotov cocktail incident that happened at the end of a peaceful protest in the name of George Floyd. 

Alderman Nik Kovac shared the news with CBS 58 on Wednesday, June 3.

Tuesday evening, protesters clashed with officers near 6th and McKinley. Video captured by CBS 58 captured the scene escalate. 

Kovac said Wednesday, he believes city leaders will urge the Fire and Police Commission to launch a formal investigation. 

PHOTO GALLERY

President Trump tweeted “get tough police” commenting on a tweet about the incident after MPD reported a protester threw the Molotov cocktail.

Patricio Carranza says he iced a rubber bullet wound Wednesdau and said he protesters did not instigate the tear gas.

“Not in the way that the police are saying that we did," Carranza said. "The real escalation did start with the gas and the guns.”

Carranza says all the protesters did was throw water bottles at police. Retired San Francisco Deputy Police Chief James Dudley says a water bottle can easily be turned into molotov cocktail.

“Fom TV, mom and pop say well the police are overreacting because they’re throwing tennis balls at them, or water bottles, they can clearly be much more deadly or at least hazardous,” Dudley said.

Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac, who was skeptical of the Molotov Cocktail, says police tactics were too aggressive regardless.

“There was one Molotov cocktail that didn’t explode, and it happened after the police did their assault on the crowd,” Kovac said.

The Milwaukee Common Council will hold public hearings Friday looking into police tactics.

Kovac says aldermen will urge the Fire and Police Commission to launch an investigation.

“The way they tried to communicate with the public after their inappropriate actions are extremely problematic and need to be investigated.”

Members of the public with first hand accounts of Tuesday's confrontation are asked to submit those to the council by noon Friday.

Statement from Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey:

"Alfonso Morales, the Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department, will be having his performance review with the Fire and Police Commission later this month.

Chief Morales was not elected by the people (he was appointed to the position) but the decisions he makes and the manner in which he runs the Milwaukee Police Department have a significant impact on every neighborhood, every citizen, every institution, and every business in the City of Milwaukee. The Chief’s management style and decision-making have been apparent during the past week, which has seen protests and civil unrest erupt in the city in the wake of the mistreatment and homicide (on video) of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis Police.

Milwaukee Police have used tear gas, flash-bang devices and employed unique traffic and crowd control measures during these past several days. Police have also made numerous arrests for various offenses during this period, and Chief Morales has appeared at several news conferences (usually with the Mayor) to address current police and public safety issues.

To be clear, Chief Morales is the independent and ultimate commander of the Police Department, and he receives no input on day-to-day policing decisions from members of the Common Council. These decisions are his and his alone.

The performance review of the Chief is critical for our city and citizens have a role to play in it."

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