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Arrests during Milwaukee tree lighting referred to DA

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Police say six demonstrators arrested during a downtown Milwaukee tree lighting ceremony have been referred to prosecutors.

The six were among those attempting to disrupt the event late Thursday at Red Arrow Park where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the tree lighting and listen to a children’s choir.

The Coalition for Justice organized the protest after federal officials decided against civil rights charges against the officer who killed Dontre Hamilton in the same park in 2014.

Police Chief Ed Flynn says his officers have tolerated past protests in the name of free speech, but that this time he said demonstrators decided to make their rights more important than the 500 people who had gathered for the tree lighting. Police say five men and a woman were arrested for disorderly conduct.

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