MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – Police in riot gear dispersed the crowd at the city's Juneteenth Day celebration Tuesday night after a man was pulled from a car and beaten and an officer was injured trying to break up a fight.
"During the day the crowd was very well behaved and everything was fine throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately at closing time everything came unhinged and there were some problems," Milwaukee Police Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said of the incidents Tuesday night.
A large group leaving the area after the festival ended around 6 p.m. attacked at least two cars, and one of the drivers was pulled from his vehicle and beaten, she said.
Schwartz said a large fight started in the area about the same time between groups of girls and then grew larger as more people got involved.
Police in riot gear attempted to disperse the crowd, Schwartz said.
An officer wearing a face shield who tried to break up the fight was hit in the face, the shield shattered and the officer was cut by the shards, requiring stitches, Schwartz said.
Juneteenth Day events are held in a number of communities around the country to commemorate the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to announce the Civil War was over and that slaves were free.