Milwaukee Stations Cover Riots Late Saturday Night

By Kevin Eck 

Milwaukee residents are cleaning up and local cops are trying to restore order after two nights of violence in the city.

It all started Saturday night after the shooting death of Sylville Smith, an armed African-American man, by a black police officer.

Local stations reported on the shooting during their early news Saturday night but didn’t blow out regular programming until after the late newscasts.


NBC affiliate WTMJ started covering the violence at 11 p.m. after its Olympic coverage. The station said tensions had been building since the shooting at around 3:30 p.m.

In her 11 p.m. live shot, reporter Michelle Fiore told viewers she moved her location after being told by WTMJ management it wasn’t safe to report from the scene of the shooting.

Fox affiliate WITI went wall-to-wall at 10 p.m. with reporter Ashley Sears telling viewers she had to move from the scene of the shooting as well over safety concerns.

ABC affiliate WISN went wall-to-wall after its 10 p.m. news, breaking into Entertainment Tonight at 10:51. The station mainly relied on its helicopter for video.

CBS affiliate WDJT broke into programming at 10:55 p.m. to begin its coverage.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency, but the National Guard was not deployed.

WISN reporter Stephen Watson and Adrienne Pedersen showed images of a news car hit by bricks and rocks.

The WISN helicopter caught a car exploding