Monday morning an independent reporter named Tim Pool announced he would no longer cover events in Milwaukee after witnessing white reporters being harassed and seeing a white man shot in the neck. Pool posted a video explaining his decision on You Tube.
“Upon arriving here one of the first things we hear is the crowd getting angry and saying ‘what are these white people doing here?'” Pool said. Pool says he took it as a sign locals were angry but didn’t assume that meant it was unsafe for him to continue to cover events.
“Things started to get really tense later in the night when people started screaming ‘f**k white people,’ ‘white people suck’,” Pool said. He continued,” A reporter was grabbed by some locals and threatened and told to leave.”
Pool’s concern peaked when he saw a white man who had been shot in the neck and was then extracted from the crowd by police.
He concludes, “I know that people on both sides of the political spectrum kind of have a different definition of what racism is but when you hear a group directing their anger and hate towards white people and seeing several white people being attacked and then finally an 18-year-old white kid is shot in the neck that’s when I’m like ‘okay, I shouldn’t be here.'”
Buzzfeed published a story Tuesday recounting Pool’s decision to leave the city and also backing up his description of the danger to reporters, especially white reporters:
On Sunday evening, as several large crowds gathered for vigils, the environment turned from peaceful to hostile. “F**k off,” some people shouted at BuzzFeed News. “What the f**k’s that white guy doing here?” another said.
Protesters also threatened a number of journalists, particularly white reporters. Near a police line, angry men promised to “beat your white ass” and warned to “get the f**k out of here.”
One of Buzzfeed’s correspondents was even involved in a car chase with a group of men in a Suburban:
Later in the evening, a group of men in a large SUV followed a BuzzFeed News correspondent to a hotel north of downtown Milwaukee. At a red light, three men jumped out of their Chevrolet Suburban and began rushing toward the car. After a brief car chase through a neighborhood he arrived safely back at his hotel where an armed guard was stationed and the SUV drove off.
The riots in Milwaukee began Saturday after 23-year-old Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a police officer. Police say the officer who shot Smith is black and was wearing a body camera at the time. Video of the shooting has not been released yet but police say it clearly shows Smith was carrying a gun in his hand.
Update (Ed): Edited to redact profanity.