Police and organizers of Juneteenth events in two cities are insisting that attacks against drivers â€” one of which left an Austin, Texas, man dead â€” have nothing to do with the crowds attending the celebrations.
On Tuesday, 40-year-old Austin resident David Rivas Morales was beaten to death in an attack near a Juneteenth celebration after the driver of the car he was riding in struck and injured a little girl.
In Milwaukee, police responded in riot gear to disperse the crowd at that city`s celebration on Tuesday after a man was pulled from a car and beaten and an officer was injured trying to break up a fight.
"It doesn`t seem to be a hate crime. It really seems to be a spontaneous act resulting from that collision with that child," said Austin Police Department Commander Harold Piatt. "We don`t know if there were any words exchanged between the driver and the men to start with that escalated this to the assault."
"You just had a group of individuals that decided that they wanted to do something entirely different," said McArthur Weddle, president of Milwaukee`s Juneteenth Day. "It`s just sad that you have a few fools that got out of hand."
Video from a local news chopper, however, showed dozens of people immediately moving from the event to an attack on a car that left a 33-year-old man beaten.
To decode this lengthy article, which doesn`t mention the words "black" or "African-American," you need to know that "Juneteenth" is a black pride celebration of June 19th, 1865 when the victorious Union Army declared Emancipation in Texas.