Milwaukee Officer Threatened Online After Fatal Shooting of Sylville Smith

Police in riot gear wait in an alley after a second night of clashes between protesters and police in Milwaukee on Aug. 15, 2016. Hundreds of angry people have confronted police after an officer shot and killed a fleeing armed man.
Darren Hauck/Getty Images

A Milwaukee police officer was the target of online threats from people identifying him as the cop who fatally shot Sylville Smith in an incident that sparked outrage and violence in the city over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune reports.

As the report notes, the authorities have yet to identify the officer who killed Smith on Saturday; however, widely shared social media posts and at least one news report have identified him as a 24-year-old patrolman. According to the Tribune, several posts included threats, as well as a photo of the officer.


On Tuesday the Milwaukee Police Department acknowledged the "disturbing national trend" in which social media users identify officers involved in fatal shootings and threaten them and their families. A spokesman for the department did not confirm the identity of the individual whose image was being circulated online. However, the department is investigating local threats against officers.

Smith, 23, was shot and killed Saturday after fleeing on foot from a traffic stop. According to authorities, Smith had a gun in his hand when he turned to the officer, who fired his service weapon, ultimately killing Smith.


Read more at the Chicago Tribune

Share This Story