Police established a Command Post in an empty Shuster's
warehouse located at North Fourth Street and West Garfield
Avenue. Notice the Brink's trucks lined up. These served as
armored cars for officers to protect from sniper fire. Tape was
put on the squad window to prevent shattering from thrown
handed out to
Post. Photos courtesy of
the Milwaukee Police
On July 30, 1967 tension was running high in Milwaukee neighborhoods just north of the central business district. Groups of youths
were wandering the streets and rocks and bottles had randomly been tossed at police. A small disturbance at a dance at the Saint
Francis Social Club located at North Fourth Street and West Brown Street spread throughout the African American communities of the
city. These riots resulted in widespread looting, fires, and sniping. By the night of July 31st, Mayor Maier had called in the National
Guard and imposed a dusk till dawn curfew in the city. By the time relative order was restored on August 3rd, four people, including
a Patrolman, were dead, hundreds were injured, and 1,740 had been arrested. Below are photos that take you back to those chaotic
nights in 1967.
Officers were then deployed to hot spots by any means necessary including Paddy Wagons, Bread
Wagons, Brink's Trucks, or four coppers to a squad. Photos courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Officers were provided coffee and sandwiches by the Salvation
Army's "Firebell Club." Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Due to the intensity of the rioting, officers were not allowed
to leave work. Cots were provided in the Command Post for
a quick nap. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Tear gas starts a fire in the residence of
John Tucker as he fires at Officers.
Rescue workers sift through the
debris of the Tucker residence.
One of the early and most violent events of the riot occurred at 134 West Center Street. John Tucker opened fire on a car of plain clothes
detectives responding to the report of sniper fire in the area. By the time the shooting was done, Patrolman Bryan Moschea was dead,
Patrolman John Carter blinded, and seven other officers were wounded. An elderly woman's remains were also located in the ashes.
|National Guard checkpoints were utilized to stem the
tide of guns and fire bombs in the affected areas.
Looters left little behind.
Racial tension in summer of 1967 fueled deadly violence
Thomas Crosby walked out of the St. Francis Social Center, at N. 4th and W. Brown streets, into chaos. Crosby, then 17, and fellow members of a
local rhythm and blues band were loading instruments into his father's station wagon around midnight July 30, 1967, when a fight broke out in the
parking lot of the center, where black people came on weekends to dance.
A crowd gathered to watch. Moments later, Crosby said, Milwaukee police cars appeared, and people started throwing rocks at the police vehicles.
Soon after, more police came wearing riot gear. The entire incident developed too quickly to be coincidental, Crosby said. The sight of patrons
battling police so mesmerized him, he drove his father's car into a hydrant.
"It blew my mind," Crosby said. "I think the fight was planned to get something started, because everything happened so fast, like people knew
something. . . . It felt like someone said, 'Go and incite the people.' "
The Summer of Love in the United States was also the summer of racial tension, civil disturbances and rioting in some American cities. The mood in
Milwaukee was ripe for something explosive. Local civil rights activists had turned their attention to fair housing in the city, highly segregated by race
and ethnicity. NAACP Youth Council members spent the early weeks of the summer picketing homes of aldermen who continued to vote against a
proposed ordinance to outlaw racial discrimination in home sales and rentals.
Activists predicted that Milwaukee's racial discomfort could lead to disorder similar to what had just erupted in July in Detroit and Newark, N.J.,
where a combined 66 people were killed and almost 1,900 injured. "We need fair housing legislation in Milwaukee," Father James E. Groppi told the
Common Council on July 25, 1967. "Unless something is done about the uninhabitable conditions that the black man has to live in, Milwaukee could
become a holocaust."
Violence broke out five days later - lootings, brawls, shootings and fires. A few hours after the earliest disturbances occurred, Mayor Henry W. Maier
proclaimed a state of emergency, and the city was under curfew for the next nine days. In the end, the riots left four dead, 100 hurt and 1,740
Most accounts of Milwaukee's riots don't point to a single incident as a starting point. After-hours brawls on and around N. 3rd St. - now N. King
Drive - and a sniper shooting on Center St. were factors in Maier's decision to activate the National Guard on the night between Sunday, July 30,
and Monday, July 31.
Just two months earlier, Maier's office had developed a riot control plan, created in part as a result of picketing and demonstrations in Wauwatosa
the previous summer. "There were some rumors that something was going to happen," said LeRoy Jones, who was then a 39-year-old Milwaukee
police detective - and one of 18 black officers in a department of 2,056. "We did know there was going to be a riot. The Police Department knew -
one to two weeks ahead - that something was planned. It was predicted that it would be on 3rd Street," Jones said. N. 3rd St. was the
neighborhood's business district.
Fred Bronson, then NAACP Youth Council president, said he, too, recalled chatter in barbershops, bars and gathering spots frequented by black
residents of "something going down." On Saturday, July 29, Bronson said, rumors intensified as some youth council members reported hearing
similar theories. The question - one that's still unanswered today - was: Who was behind such a plan?
Demonstrations at aldermen's homes and Father Groppi's statement to the Common Council - which some perceived as a threat - led Milwaukee
Police Chief Harold Breier to think the youth council was planning the insurrection.
That wasn't true, former youth council members said. "There was never any discussion of rioting," said Margaret (Peggy) Rozga, a youth council
member who married Groppi in 1976. "Even if any of us thought something like that, we didn't say it to anyone, because we certainly knew we would
probably be blamed for anything that happened." Besides, Bronson said, a riot would have gone against the youth council's non-violent approach.
But there were people who felt otherwise - others who were not members of the youth council, Bronson added.
July 31, 1967
The lot at 134 W. Center St. is vacant now, but the home that once stood there was the site of the bloodiest event in Milwaukee's civil disturbance.
Just before 2 a.m. on the hot night, residents of the mostly black neighborhood around N. 2nd and W. Center streets gathered and talked outside. A
white man drove by slowly in a white station wagon. He doubled back and yelled a racial slur. He reached for something. Someone shouted, "He's
got a gun in the glove compartment." People ran. A shotgun blast came from the house. The car was hit. The man inside the car, Milton L. Nelsen,
an ironworker, was shot in the face. Hannah Jackson, who lived next door, was also hit by gunfire.
Seconds later, an unmarked squad car pulled up. LeRoy Jones was in the squad. His boss at the time, Capt. Kenneth Hagopian, had asked him to
work that night. "There was nobody outside at all," Jones said. "This guy was shooting out of the basement window, but you couldn't see him. So as
we pull up, all (the shooter) saw was Hagopian, who's white, and another person, Harry Daniels (a police detective, also white). When we pull up
across the street from (the house) he started shooting. Hagopian got hit first." Hagopian was wounded in the face and neck. Jones was shot in the
leg and right arm.
Jones gave this account to a Milwaukee Journal reporter: "I jumped out of the car. Just then, the captain did. He got hit and went down. I got off four
or five shots. I felt my right hand weak. I couldn't pull the trigger."
In the next hour, a flurry of gunfire and flames followed as police converged. Patrolman Bryan Moschea, 24, ran into the Center St. house, thought to
be held by a sniper. Police lobbed tear gas inside. Officer John Carter, a 25-year-old patrolman, entered the home, too. He recalled seeing a flash.
He was shot in the face. That's all he remembers. Moschea's body was found in the burned-out building, killed by a shotgun blast to the chest.His
father, Kenneth, a lieutenant in the Fire Department, fought the blaze and learned later his son was inside. Annie Mosley, a white, 77-year-old widow
who lived in a rear flat on the first floor, also was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. She had returned to the burning building to turn off
the television in her apartment. Four other officers were shot, with Carter and Hagopian the most seriously wounded.
A year later, John Oraa Tucker, who lived in the house, was found innocent of murder and attempted murder but guilty of six counts of endangering
safety of police men. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and was paroled after serving nearly 10 years.
It was after the conflagration on Center St. that Maier instituted a round-the-clock curfew - the strictest in a city rocked by riots. Maier had gone to
City Hall just before midnight and asked Gov. Warren Knowles to put the Guard on standby. A rash of small fires and false alarms grew, as did
reports that firefighters were being stoned. Breier, though, told the mayor he didn't think the Guard was needed. "He (Breier) figured, let the people
know that the police department can handle anything," Jones said. But at 2:26 a.m, 11 minutes after the mayor received word that police officers
were shot on Center St., Breier agreed it was time to call out the Guard.
At 3:40 a.m. a round-the-clock curfew took effect, closing down taverns, liquor stores, gas stations. People were ordered off the streets. Roadblocks
went up and Milwaukee became a blockaded city.
Officers drove Hagopian to Mount Sinai Hospital at N. 12th and W. State streets. He was first seen by Shirley Orndoff, a registered nurse called in to
work that night. She recalled getting odd instructions from her supervisor: "She said, 'Now Shirley, don't ask questions. I can't tell you the answers
until you get here. Do not take the side roads or come down Wisconsin Avenue. You don't want to be on the streets. You need to take the freeway,' "
Orndoff recalled. The city was not yet under curfew, but Orndoff could see that it was shutting down.
"I was the only car on the entire freeway," she said. "I didn't see anyone coming in my direction. Nothing. And it was so quiet, that it almost made me
sick. . . . The houses all had their lights out."
Orndoff parked close to the hospital and checked in. "OK, Shirley. Get back and get into your scrubs," her boss said. The dressing area was down a
long hallway lined with tall windows. One more instruction: "On your hands and knees. Crawl. And don't let your butt stick up."
"Why?" Orndoff asked her boss. "We're in the middle of a riot, Shirley," she recalled of the response. "There's gunshots all over the place. Do what I
just told you. Crawl."
She crawled to the dressing room, changed and started to crawl back. "But when I got to the end, against all orders, I looked around the corner and
I saw St. Anthony's Hospital on 11th and State," she said. There, she saw three officers armed with rifles. "But they didn't stand up straight, you
know, like targets. You could just see their heads bob up, and then one would come out a little bit later."
The supervisor told her to get to the emergency room immediately - even though she had never worked in the E.R. "I didn't know what was there, so
I grabbed a bunch of extra sponges and I put them in my blouse top," she said.
Four police officers, two on each side of the table, held down another officer on the table. That was Hagopian. "I took a package of sponges - I didn't
even wait for gloves," she said. "I put a sponge on his face to see how much damage had been done. One of the officers brought over a bucket."
Orndoff had never seen a gunshot wound before.
She found his pulse, talked to him, told him she was a nurse and would be getting help. She asked if he wanted anything at that moment. "He shook
his head kind of. He was responding anyway . . . his skin was so torn up that you couldn't really see what was damaged," she said.
According to a 1996 article, surgeons removed 126 pieces of lead from him. But Hagopian returned to work, and retired as a high-ranking police
inspector in 1987.
Guard on Patrol
For the most part, the unrest in Milwaukee was concentrated in an area roughly from W. State to W. Burleigh streets and N. 1st to N. 5th streets,
with most of it happening along N. 3rd St. But a look at the police log from that night shows shooting and unrest throughout the city:
"Cars being set on fire at 16th and Vliet."
"We've got a large group of punks who need some attention at 1301 (West) Center."
"More looting Woolworth's at 13th and Vliet."
"Windows smashed at television store, 27th and Atkinson."
Across the city, people closed their doors and followed the curfew. "I'll never, ever forget the feeling of hearing gunshots in the background, in the
night," says Roz Huber, then 17. Her brother Jimmy and her dad, Jim Cuda, went through their house on N. 72nd St. and drew the drapes. Her
father got out his deer hunting rifle. "I remember him saying not to be afraid - he and my brother would be up all night long," Huber recalls. "I
remember him walking around checking the windows and doors. He would check the house, make sure everything was OK before we went to sleep.
Not that I slept." She adds, "A couple of neighbors did the same. Everybody was afraid because you just didn't know. You didn't know at the time
whether or not anybody would come into our neighborhood and come into our house, ransack it. You'd see the National Guard driving by."
Hours after Orndoff, the nurse, was called to work, Bill Graham, then a guardsman and student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, heard
reports of trouble. "I decided to take a ride and see what was going on . . . and someone threw a brick through the back window of my station
wagon," said Graham, who lived on E. Randolph Court just west of the river. "So I decided that maybe that was not a good time to go out riding
around." He later learned that his Wisconsin National Guard unit, based in Oconomowoc, was being called up.
Because Graham was assigned to officer candidate school, he was given a position of responsibility.
"I was given a special weapon, a military issue shotgun. It had a very long, pointed bayonet on it. It looked more like a Civil War bayonet. And it was
used in prisons if there was a riot," he said. "And my job was to neutralize snipers. Kill them. Or shoot them. Or you know, suppress the snipers," he
said - though he never fired a shot.
Guardsmen and police patrolled together. "The tactical units had all their riot helmets on and they would drive around with all their weapons pointed
out of the car, and they were very intimidating," he said. "And I'm sure that's the image they wanted to project. . . . And that was coming from black
and from white officers."
Graham, who had handled civil disturbances in Madison and Lake Geneva as a guardsman, today believes the Guard was "a neutralizing, calming
force between the police and the community." Graham's first patrol assignment was at N. 5th and W. Walnut streets.
As the night began, Graham gazed to the second floor windows of a red brick apartment building and saw shadows. Curtains moved.
The people in the houses looked at him. He looked at them. "We had no idea what they were doing," Graham said. "They had no idea what we were
"There was minimal light, so you'd just see the shadows. And that's what you'd look for, the shadows. Shadows and sudden movement."
It was quiet until daybreak, Graham said, when an older African American man came out of his home. "He wanted to know if they were going to lift
the curfew, because he wanted to go to his job. It was one of the big heavy industry companies. And he said he really, really needed to get to work
because he was concerned about losing his job. "The guard is citizen soldiers. Two days before, we were going to work like everybody else,"
Graham noted. "And I could identify with this man that couldn't get to work."
He and the other guardsmen went up the chain of command to see if the curfew was lifted and the guy could get to work. "And the answer was no,"
says Graham. The city had settled down some, but the violence was far from over.
|The below story and photos are reprinted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from a series they
ran on the 40th Anniversary of the 1967 Riots.
An patrolman peers through his shattered windshield.
A motorcycle copper takes cover behind a tree as
sniper fire rings out.
Patrolmen take a break as neighborhood kids try on their riot
An injured copper get helped to a waiting ambulance.
Police radios carried a blow-by-blow account of the bloodiest night in Milwaukee history.
Here is a four-hour glimpse into police and fire activity from 11:35 p.m. July 30 to 3:35 a.m. July 31, taken from reports over police radios.
July 30, 1967
11:35 p.m. Looters entering a Goodyear store at 1815 W. Fond du Lac.
11:42 p.m. Rubbish fire, 2400 N. 3rd St.
11:45 p.m. Get some help at 3rd and LIoyd; the fire's out of control.
11:45 p.m. Rubbish fire extinguished at 3rd and McKinley.
11:46 p.m. Garage fire at 21st and Concordia.
11:50 p.m. They're beginning to loot at 3rd and Brown.
11:51 p.m. We're pulling the beat man out at 3rd and Wright. We're getting nailed pretty hard. Watch out!
11:51 p.m. Unconfirmed report of squad car tipped over.
11:52 p.m. Have Chief Breier call the mayor or his administrator.
11:54 p.m. Kids throwing stones at passing cars on foot bridge over 6th St., just south of North Ave.
11:54 p.m. Notify owner show window broken at appliance store, 3356 N. Green Bay.
11:56 p.m. Man shot at 3rd and Vine. Send ambulance. (Believed to be a looter.)
11:56 p.m. Battalion 2 reported from a fire scene that it needed protection.
11:57 p.m. Crowds out of control at Meinecke and Wright. Looting going on.
11:58 p.m. Businessman trapped in building at 2555 N. 3rd St. Being pummeled by rocks.
July 31, 1967
12:02 a.m. All shotguns being brought down from headquarters and training school. Taken to command post at 4th and Garfield.
12:03 a.m. Fire, 3rd and Meinecke, Martin service station.
12:05 a.m. Fires in alley 2300 block of North 3rd.
12:08 a.m. See if you can raise some ministers.
12:09 a.m. Group breaking into convalescent home at 107 E. Garfield.
12:10 a.m. Box alarm of fire, 5th and Vliet.
12:11 a.m. Sheriff's department advises 50 men standing by waiting for chief's order.
12:15 a.m. No. 5 captain advises that four reverends are one their way to the command post.
12:16 a.m. Burglary in progress at 13th and Burleigh.
12:16 a.m. Merchant's police alarm at 2741 N. Teutonia.
12:17 a.m. Halyard and Lloyd, about 50 youths stoning automobiles.
12:20 a.m. Burglary in progress at 2401 N. 3rd St.
12:24 a.m. Wagonload of patrolmen need helmets.
12:25 a.m. Call for fire department, rear of 2300 N. 3rd St. Also need additional officers.
12:26 a.m. Group going toward Wisconsin Ave.
12:28 a.m. l900 N. Buffum, another fire set.
12:28 a.m. Gang beating a white man at 4th and Wright.
12:28 a.m. Fire at National Food Store, 2354 N. 3rd St.
12:28 a.m. 2741 N. Teutonia. They've smashed windows wide open. Notify the owner.
12:30 a.m. Request Mount Sinai hospital remain open. Keep emergency personnel on.
12:31 a.m. Eight police confronting a crowd of 50 marching toward Wisconsin Ave.
12:32 a.m. Get hold of Sheriff's Department hard helmets and bring them to command post.
12:32 a.m. Cars being set on fire at 16th and Vliet.
12:33 a.m. Fifth District Police station being attacked. (The message was garbled.)
12:35 a.m. They're breaking into Badger Plating, 1300 N. Water.
12:36 a.m. Telephone alarm of fire North 16th and West Vliet.
12:37 a.m. Brinks called. They want to move their trucks from 431 W. Galena at 1 a.m.
12:47 a.m. Report from citizen that they've broken windows at Kaufman Motors at 3rd and Burleigh and they're stealing motorcycles.
12:40 a.m. Firemen report: They're being stoned at 3rd and Clark.
12:40 a.m. About 25 persons are attacking a service station at 3rd and Burleigh.
12:42 a.m. Request for more squads at 15th and Vliet. A crowd is gathering.
12:44 a.m. We need more squads at 3200 N. Green Bay.
12:44 a.m. Third and Burleigh at the motorcycle shop. We've got motorcycles lying in the street.
12:46 a.m. We've got a large group of punks who need some attention at 1301 N. Center.
12:48 a.m. Squad is stuck in sand at 2nd and Meinecke.
12:49 a.m. Check bank at 27th and Vliet. Auto seen fleeing the scene.
12:50 a.m. We have a report of looters in a tavern at 3rd and Green Bay.
12:51 a.m. More looting at Woolworth's at 13th and Vliet.
12:53 a.m. Large group at 12th and Galena with guns and golf clubs.
12:53 a.m. Check injured man at 24th and Lisbon.
12:53 a.m. Large group breaking windows at 13th and Vliet.
12:58 a.m. Telephone alarm of fire at 3rd and Clark.
12:58 a.m. Breaking into Kellers beer depot at 5th and Center.
12:59 a.m. Injured man at 12th and Lloyd.
12:59 a.m. Plankinton and Michigan, numerous lootings in area.
12:59 a.m. Box alarm at 2nd and Chambers.
1:00 a.m. Telephone alarm of fire, 2018 N. 5th St.
1:00 a.m. Looting reported at 21st and Walnut.
1:00 a.m. Group in white Cadillac throwing bricks and rocks at homes in the 2300 block of North 20th.
1:00 a.m. Pedestrian stuck at 24th and Lisbon.
1:03 a.m. Large group congregating at Teutonia and Center.
1:04 a.m. Auto accident at 12th and Lloyd. Passenger injured pretty badly.
1:04 a.m. Burglar alarm, Sangor Drugs, 800 W. North.
1:05 a.m. Reports of shooting at 2nd and Clark.
1:05 a.m. Two white males with rifles in the 2900 block of North 3rd.
1:06 a.m. Check 2nd and Wright. Report of woman being beaten.
1:07 a.m. Pedestrian struck, 24th Place and Lisbon.
1:08 a.m. Report of gas pump burning, 16th and Highland.
1:08 a.m. Report of looting, 12th and Cherry.
1:09 a.m. We have a report of looting at 5th and North.
1:13 a.m. Large group in parking lot with weapons at 2nd and Michigan.
1:13 a.m. Looting at SuperAmerica station, 17th and Atkinson.
1:14 a.m. Groups throwing rocks at 6th and Cherry.
1:14 a.m. Ambulance sent 2nd and Meinecke.
1:15 a.m. Box alarm of fire at 16th and Juneau.
1:16 a.m. They are entering grocery stores at 15th and Vliet and 16th and Cherry.
1:17 a.m. One reduced line (fire hose) working on buildings at 16th and Juneau.
1:22 a.m. Burglar alarm at men's shop, 1200 W. Walnut.
1:25 a.m. Looting at store, 11th and Center.
1:27 a.m. Group of 20 to 30 walking east on Meinecke armed with bottles, bricks and weapons.
1:28 a.m. Looting, Royal Cleaners, 5th and North.
1:30 a.m. Accident, 10th and Ring.
1:31 a.m. Sergeant reports that his group has no shotguns.
1:31 a.m. Large group approaching Teutonia and Center.
1:33 a.m. Fifteen cars loaded with Negroes going west on North Ave.
1:37 a.m. Group of 40 Negroes at 29th and Vliet.
1:38 a.m. Squad at 14th and Walnut has prisoners.
1:39 a.m. They're looting the Kohl's Beverage Center, 3700 N. Teutonia.
1:40 a.m. They're beating a woman at 5th and Wright.
1:41 a.m. Large group of Negroes at jewelry store at 37th and North.
1:42 a.m. Large group of Negroes leaving 37th and North. We have just moved them.
1:43 a.m. Two burglar alarms, 925 W. North and 1400 W. North.
1:44 a.m. People buying cans of gasoline at 35th and Meinecke.
1:45 a.m. Accident at 1st and Meinecke. Large group gathering. Send help.
1:46 a.m. We're closing down all in the 3rd police district.
1:46 a.m. Box alarm for fire at 12th and Garfield.
1:48 a.m. Broken window at 928 W. North. Nobody around.
1:48 a.m. Box alarm fire at 2nd and Hadley.
1:49 a.m. We're standing by at Ken's Gun Shop, 48th and North. Everything is OK here.
1:49 a.m. Check 15th and McKinley. People trapped in an auto.
1:50 a.m. Check a large group armed with bottles at 27th and Wells.
1:51 a.m. Bus driver reports rocks being thrown at buses at 14th and Fond du Lac.
1:51 a.m. Man being beaten at 1st and Meinecke.
1:56 a.m. officer needs assistance at 15th and Center.
1:58 a.m. Send a couple of squads to 3rd and Hadley. They're looting up here.
1:59 a.m. We have shooting from an automobile, vicinity of Buffum and Center.
2:00 a.m. Large fight at 12th and Reservoir.
2:01 a.m. Check for windows being broken, 2500 block of North Downer.
2:02 a.m. We have 25 people following three patrolmen at 14th and Walnut.
2:02 a.m. We need a wagon at 6th and North. We've got a couple of stone throwers.
2:03 a.m. Send ambulance. One dead already. Send ambulance. 134 W. Center. Man shot in head by sniper.
2:05 a.m. Four cars of Negroes at 2nd and Vliet.
2:06 a.m. Truck on fire, 12th and Galena.
2:06 a.m. Another ambulance, 2nd and Center.
2:10 a.m. Window smashed at television store, 27th and Atkinson.
2:10 a.m. Second and Center. Tear gas and ambulance. We're shooting at house.
2:12 a.m. Another ambulance, Second and Center.
2:12 a.m. Sounds of gunshots, 12th and Walnut.
2:12 a.m. Get some tear gas here, Second and Center. We have at least one policeman shot.
2:12 a.m. We need shotguns here at 2nd and Center.
2:13 a.m. We're sending help.
2:13 a.m. Second and Center. Two coppers shot. We're requesting help immediately. Two coppers shot.
2:15 a.m. Request for ambulances to stand by. Fourth and Garfield. Ambulance, 2nd and Center, hurry, hurry.
2:16 a.m. Disregard the ambulance. We're taking the wounded officer ourselves.
2:17 a.m. 1000 N. 3rd St. Camera Shop broken into. We've got the guys.
2:18 a.m. Large fire at 3rd and Center.
2:19 a.m. Notify fire department. Fire bomb at 3rd and Center.
2:20 a.m. Check for five carloads of Negroes at 3rd and Morgan.
2:20 a.m. Large crowd of juveniles gathering at 1st and Wright. Cars are burning.
2:22 a.m. Meet squad at 3rd and State. They are going in after looters.
2:22 a.m. Meet squad at 3rd and Cherry. We've got looters.
2:23 a.m. Negro juveniles with guns at 32nd and McKinley.
2:24 a.m. Looting at beer depot, 23rd and Burleigh.
2:25 a.m. Looting at drug store at 13th and Burleigh.
2:25 a.m. Looting at liquor store, 8th and North.
2:25 a.m. All squads: Close up service stations for the night.
2:29 a.m. Supermarket on fire, 10th and Burleigh.
2:29 a.m. We're pinned down at 2nd and Center (by sniper).
2:38 a.m. Send fire department, 3rd and Center, big blaze.
2:40 a.m. Tell No. 3 squads to stop any roving cars with Negro males. Stop them and check the trunks for guns and contraband.
2:41 a.m. Large fire at 3rd and Center. Fire department unable to get into area.
2:42 a.m. We've got the prisoner. He has been shot.
2:43 a.m. People in the house at 130 Center St.
2:45 a.m. Officer shot in chest or stomach. Taking him to County General hospital. Notify Dr. Worman to be in surgery.
2:47 a.m. Wagon, 130 W. Concordia for looters.
2:47 a.m. People at 130 W. Center St. refuse to answer door.
2:47 a.m. Another fire at 130 W. Center. Can you see it?
2:50 a.m. Battalion 2 reported. We've got two police officers up here. We're not going in until we get an all clear from them.
2:51 a.m. Fire at 1st and Center. Firemen are pinned down by sniper fire.
2:57 a.m. How about the searchlights at 2nd and Center? We're still waiting.
3:02 a.m. Firemen are pinned down by sniper fire at 1st and Center. Searchlights are needed.
3:06 a.m. We need rifle ammo at 2nd and Center.
3:06 a.m. Looting jewelry store at 35th and Lisbon.
3:07 a.m. Advise. Where is sniper? (Answer partly blurred) at 134 W. Center. He may be in there. The whole front of the house is on fire.
3:10 a.m. Large group of Negro males, 26th and Vliet. One is injured.
3:13 a.m. Report of a man shot at 2664-A N. 1st St.
3:16 a.m. Fire department still being held down by snipers at 2nd and Center. Can't get in.
3:20 a.m. Need an ambulance at 1st and Center.
3:21 a.m. Conveying officer to County General Hospital from 2nd and Center.
3:23 a.m. Ten additional men to 1st and Center.
3:30 a.m. Turn in second alarm at fire, 2nd and Center.
3:34 a.m. Stealing cars from a dealer at 3rd and Hadley.
3:35 a.m. We're making numerous arrests of prisoners in cars with guns and contraband.
3:35 a.m. They're looting. Gunshots heard, 5th and Center.
3:35 a.m. Fire in the middle of the street, 1st and Wright.
Patrolmen stand by a burning house to protect firefighters from
A group of patrolmen armed with shotguns move a crowd.
Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier is gaurded
by a patrolman outside of City Hall.
A patrolman stands watch for snipers as a fire rages
Many fires went unattended as arson swept the city.
Two patrolmen cover the backs of firefighters as a block
is engulfed in flames.
Patrolman Thomas McKale (Gas gun) and his partners prepare for
Patrolman McKale takes a break on the hood of a squad.
Patrolmen Myron Tabbery and Arthur Czarnecki
take a well deserved break.
Patrolmen examine each others battle scars..
A Patrolman takes cover in a doorway.
Two patrolmen have a couple of looters jacked up.
Suspected looter arrested.
Officers detain two kids.
Coffee for the boys.
As good a place as any to carry your
A more peaceful moment with the neighborhood kids.
Manning the phones inside the Command Post. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police
Officers, Deputies, and Soldiers gather at the Command Post and
swap war stories. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Loading into a police ambulance for another patrol. Photo courtesy of the
Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Officers head off to another hot spot in the back of a bread wagon. Photo
courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Officers confer at a north side intersection. The white helmets and batons
were ofter spray painted black by officers so they wouldn't stick out so
much to snipers. Note the shotgun sticking out of the ambulance window
in the background. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Officers take cover from sniper fire behind a squad. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police
Plotting a solution to the disturbances at the Command Post.
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
"Burn baby burn!" The city goes up in smoke as officers battle rioters.
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Nothing more comfortable then the hood of a squad car. Exhausted officers slept outside due to the heat inside of the Command Post. Photos courtesy of
the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
A detective stands outside his squad, gun stuffed in his belt. Photo
courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
Squads lined up outside the Command Post. Tape covered the windows
to limit the shatters from rocks. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Historical Society
This video includes interviews with Mayor Maier during the
riots and raw 16mm video.
Roadblocks by both police and National Guard troops were set up throughout the city in an attempt to control the disorder.
In the midst of the riots, officers pause to watch part of a Packer per
season game through the store window.
A copper stakes a break amidst the damage cause by the rioters.
A couple of scenes of officers making arrests during the early hours of the riots.
National Guard troops take to the streets in an attempt to bring calm to
the troubled neighborhoods.
Looters grab what they can from local businesses.
During the day and at night. On roof tops and at fire scenes. Officers are
ever on watch for the illusive snipers plaguing the city.