Community activist facing new charges related to Sherman Park unrest

NOW: Community activist facing new charges related to Sherman Park unrest

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- New charges have been filed against local community activist Vaun Mayes for his alleged role in the Sherman Park unrest.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Mayes pleaded not guilty in federal court on the charges.

According to the 7-count indictment, the charges include using a cellphone to encourage others to riot and coordinating with them to firebomb Milwaukee Police District 7 Headquarters and two homes in West Allis.

Mayes told CBS 58 he's being targeted by authorities. "West Allis? What are you trying to do there as far as West Allis? Like, who lives in West Allis?"

According to the criminal complaint, an informant told law enforcement that Mayes and others planned to firebomb the police station during the unrest in August of 2016. Several businesses, including a gas station were set on fire.

"People don't have opportunity, people don't have hope, people don't have the resources that they need,” Mayes said. “That's what caused that riot."

Other charges include teaching people, including juveniles, how to make Molotov cocktails. He's also facing a count of witness intimidation for those cooperating with police, a charge he denied.

"When we talk about intimidation, are these people coming forward because they have the information and they want to do the right thing? Or are they being intimidated themselves into doing this stuff?"

The prosecution reminded Mayes to not contact anymore witnesses. However, his attorney said there is no evidence he has done that.

The next hearing is scheduled for December 20th.

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