The City of Milwaukee burst into chaos this last weekend after police shot Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old African American male who was armed with a stolen handgun. Riots erupted. Buildings were burned. Police were attacked – as were journalists.

Sylville Smith’s police shooting death will be investigated, as it should be. But whether or not the police shooting is deemed to be justifiable, Smith’s death isn’t the cause of the Milwaukee riots. It’s only the spark that ignited a century-old powder keg that gains fresh powder every time liberty is defined as freedom from want.

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