Shaina Perry remembers the punch to her face, blood streaming from a cut over her eye, her backpack with her asthma inhaler, debit card and cellphone stolen, and then the laughter.
"They just said 'Oh, white girl bleeds a lot,' " said Perry, 22, who was attacked at Kilbourn Reservoir Park over the Fourth of July weekend.
Though Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn noted Tuesday that crime is colorblind, he called the Sunday night looting of a convenience store near the park and beatings of a group of people who had gone to the park disturbing, outrageous and barbaric.
Police would not go quite as far as others in connecting the events; Flynn said several youths "might" be involved in both.
"We're not going to let any group of individuals terrorize or bully any of our neighborhoods," Flynn said.
Perry was among several who were injured by a mob they said beat and robbed them and threw full beer bottles while making racial taunts. The injured people were white; the attackers were African-American, witnesses said.
Store video of the BP station at E. North Ave. and N. Humboldt Blvd. shows the business being ransacked. A clerk at BP confirmed to the Journal Sentinel that he was busy waiting on customers when one or two people held the door open to let others rush in and steal snacks and candy.
Not far away, 20 to 25 friends from Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood had gathered at the park shortly before midnight to watch some fireworks set off by a neighbor. In interviews with 11 people who said they were attacked or witnessed the attack, a larger group of youths appeared in another section of the park around midnight and were joined by more young people running up the park's stairs.
At some point the group of friends and the group of youths intersected; those interviewed said the attack appeared to be unprovoked.
I'll just say it: "youths" without fathers around to tell them when to come home tend to get into this kind of trouble. The problem is exacerbated by the ubiquitous presences of cell phones, which enables "organizing" a mob much more easily. It's also exacerbated by the fact that "youths" don't have summer jobs, primarily, IMHO, because the idiotic Democrats set the minimum wage so high they might as well have called the bill the No Black Teenagers Shall Be Employed Act. I think we'll see more of this sort of thing this summer, in Milwaukee, and elsewhere.
It's also getting tiresome to complain that, if the races of the mob and the victims were reversed, this would be a national news story, rather than a story where the local police don't appear to want to "connect the events."