A protest that began at the Wauwatosa Police Department and migrated to Mayfair mall and back again had ended by about 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 8.
Protesters who occupied Mayfair mall had left it by about 5:45 p.m. about a half-hour after they filed in, and returned to the Wauwatosa Police Department, where their protest began.
Crossing Mayfair Road on foot they referred to the police in chanted expletives, and called “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
The protest began at the Wauwatosa Police Department at about 4 p.m. Friday with signs and chanted slogans. At about 5:15 p.m. the group walked to the intersection of Mayfair Road and North Avenue and blocked traffic as they headed for the mall. Cars backed up, honking in frustration.
Authorities in heavy gear entered the mall about 5:30 p.m., some wearing SWAT equipment. Wauwatosa police were joined by sheriff’s personnel and canine units.
Many stores at the mall locked their doors and closed gates as protesters roamed the hallways and used the escalators to travel between floors. At one point, protesters gathered near the entrance to Boston Store as law enforcement looked on until the crowd eventually left the mall. The encounter at the mall was not violent.
About 50 people had initially gathered at the police station to protest the killing of Jay Anderson by a Wauwatosa officer June 23 at Madison Park. Through the afternoon, the number of protesters grew, eventually reaching a couple of hundred.
Milwaukee resident Gloria Speed, who said Anderson was her nephew said her family and the community is hurting.
“We lost a loved one, we lost a father, we lost a brother, we lost Baby Jay and we need our community to know and stand behind us,” she said. “We need some support from Milwaukee, from Wauwatosa, to get this all settled.”
The protesters held signs and chanted “Black lives matter,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.” They demanded the release of dash-cam video of the shooting death, and said the family of Anderson was not offered comfort, counseling or services following his death.
They dismissed explanations of the justice process by Wauwatosa Capt. Tim Sharpee, crowding around him and shouting back as he spoke. They demanded to see Police Chief Barry Weber, who did not appear, though Sharpee said he was at the station.
Anderson’s cousin, Lamar Kearney, of Milwaukee, said the family needs answers and support from the community.
“When these types of things happen we need some counseling for the family, the family hasn’t had nothing,” he said. “Where’s the counseling?”
One woman, holding her hands behind her, acted out a handcuffing, and cried out repeatedly, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”
As they returned to the police station at about 6 p.m., the group chanted “What’s his name? Jay! What do we want? Justice!”
The protest in Wauwatosa had ended shortly after 6:30 p.m.
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber spoke with media after protesters left. The chief said the police department respects the right to protest and said all lives matter.
The shooting death has been referred to the Milwaukee Police Department for investigation. Jay Anderson’s aunt, Gloria Speed of Milwaukee, said Anderson had been buried that morning, and many protesters held programs from the funeral.
Public Information Officer for the Milwaukee Police Department Timothy Gauerke said the investigation into the incident remains ongoing and there is no estimated completion date.
A second, similar rally was held at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee Monday afternoon, where Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed by police in 2014, according to various media reports.
- Peter Zuzga contributed to this report.
Reporter Rachel Minske and photojournalist Peter Zuzga were tweeting from the protest. Read the MyCommunityNOW Storify social media story.