Online activism and misinformation hampered a missing-persons investigation that turned violent on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The initial incident began with an investigation into two teenage girls who had gone missing and were potentially victims of sex trafficking.
When police arrived at a residence believed to be connected to the disappearance, hundreds of people gathered and attempted to disrupt police operations.
Three people -including two 14-year-olds- were shot, a house was set on fire, and police had fired tear gas by the end of the night. 7 police officers and a firefighter were also injured in the chaos.
Both girls, ages 13 and 15, were located by Wednesday morning, police said. According to the Journal-Sentinel, local TV stations reported that the girls had last been seen Sunday evening.
MPD spokeswoman Sgt. Sheronda Grant said that the police are currently trying to determine if the girls were at risk of trafficking.
“That’s something that we are looking into,” she said. “So that’s under review. However I cannot confirm that that is the case.”
The crowd that gathered Tuesday near the police investigation in the 2100 block of North 40th Street was reported to be “a mix of neighbors observing the situation, people expressing frustration with police and activists who’d marched in Milwaukee’s racial justice protests.”
Two fourteen-year-olds were shot near the scene but are expected to pull through.
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