Brother says Sylville Smith's memorial should stay near Sherman Park

Posted at 10:03 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 23:35:37-04

MILWAUKEE -- Sylville Smith's brother Sedan Smith says they will continue to gather at their family's makeshift memorial as they wait for justice for his brother.

But neighbors are asking for the large groups to stop gathering. They want their neighborhood back.

Balloons and signs hung quietly at the memorial Wednesday evening. They first appeared right after Sylville Smith was shot and killed August 13. People gathered that day at the site and eventually violence broke out.

It lead to two days of violence around the Sherman Park neighborhood. Since then, people, including Smith's family, have continued to gather at the site until Tuesday night, when police came to move people out.

"I stop by this tree and I cry before anybody get out here. I can't make it to the grave site so I come to this tree," said Sedan Smith.

Sedan Smith said at times there have been more than 300 gathered, but he said they are respectful to the neighborhood.

According to police, neighbors called them to ask to stop the large crowds and illegal activity that sometimes happens near the memorial. That led to arrests 10 Tuesday night and more Wednesday morning.

Now one neighbor says he is going to approach the family themselves to ask them not to gather such big groups.

"They are sensitive to what happened and they care, they're compassionate, but they want to go on with their normal life. They just don't want the crowds to continue," said neighbor Eric Folds.

But Smith said he purposely put the memorial where it would not be in someone's yard, but on city property.

"A side street where it wasn't affecting any residential area because I didn't want to be a nuisance to the community," said Smith.

Smith said they have to gather to keep the focus on getting justice for his brother.

"We want one thing and one thing only. And it's the big issue right here, right now. You all want to know why we gather right here everyday cause we want justice. We want that camera footage. We want that body camera footage released," said Smith.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting of Sylville Smith. They have said the video footage will not be released until the investigation is over.

Smith says he will meet with the Sherman Park Community Association Thursday night at 6 p.m. to talk to the neighbors. He says he hopes they can work or an agreement. 

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