Cleanup underway after damage, looting in Wauwatosa unrest

NOW: Cleanup underway after damage, looting in Wauwatosa unrest

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Protesters smashed windows of homes and businesses during unrest Wednesday night, Oct. 7, leaving residents cleaning up the mess. 

The unrest comes after the district attorney's decision not to charge a Wauwatosa police officer in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole.

Thursday morning, Oct. 8, CBS got a closer look at some of the damage left behind. 

Things started off peaceful Wednesday, then protesters made their way to the highway where they first came face to face with police. Several people were arrested and things really took a turn just after 9 p.m.; protesters clashed with police in the city streets and were met with tear gas. 

A Speedway gas station at 92nd and Burleigh was also looted.

In a video shared by Townhall Media, groups of people can be seen throwing items through the front windows of apartments. 

Officials deployed tear gas at what they called an unlawful assembly after the protesters would not disperse. 

"The 70-year-old woman was home when it happened," says Jeff Frailing, the owner of an apartment building that was vandalized. "She was in complete shock and couldn't stop shaking."

Frailing's elderly tenant was sleeping in her bedroom when it all happened. 

"Protesting is fine," says Frailing. "When it turns into violence, it's not protesting anymore, it's strictly vandalism. That doesn't convince anybody to join your side of your fight."

Some impacted business owners say that while they support the cause, they're not sure how putting them in this position helps. 

"It doesn't make sense," says Mary Peschell, owner of Wallpaper Wallpaper. "It doesn't accomplish anything."

A couple dozen volunteers were out early Thursday to help these businesses along North and Swan clean up. "Wallpaper Wallpaper" was heavily damaged and was all cleaned up by community members stepping in to help.

Joseph Eylne and his family live about a block away. He says they watched the night unfold and knew their help would be needed. 

"We called to Lowes and they donated it (the wood) to us," says Eylne. "Also Home Depot offered some of it. A lot of it just came from the community and community support."

The Persisters, a local citizen action group, placed 'Tosa Strong' signs around the city and asked people to sign their petition to have the fire and police commission meet immediately. 

"If they met now they go a long way towards calming the city," says Jill Morin, a member of The Persisters. 

The City of Wauwatosa is collecting reports of property damage from Wednesday night's unrest. CLICK HERE for more. 

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