Shaina Perry remembers the punch to her face, blood streaming from a cut over her eye, her backpack with her asthma inhaler, debit card and cellphone stolen, and then the laughter.
"They just said 'Oh, white girl bleeds a lot,' " said Perry, 22, who was attacked at Kilbourn Reservoir Park over the Fourth of July weekend.
Though Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn noted Tuesday that crime is colorblind, he called the Sunday night looting of a convenience store near the park and beatings of a group of people who had gone to the park disturbing, outrageous and barbaric.
Perry was among several who were injured by a mob they said beat and robbed them and threw full beer bottles while making racial taunts. The injured people were white; the attackers were African-American, witnesses said.
Store video of the BP station at E. North Ave. and N. Humboldt Blvd. shows the business being ransacked.
Not far away, 20 to 25 friends from Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood had gathered at the park shortly before midnight to watch some fireworks set off by a neighbor...
At some point the group of friends and the group of youths intersected; those interviewed said the attack appeared to be unprovoked...
Minutes later Bublitz saw a male friend hit in the temple and fall down. Her fiancé told her to run to safety. James Zajackowski, 28, said things suddenly turned chaotic.
"Within 30 seconds to a minute, bottles were flying and people started getting punched. I was in shock....I was on the ground, people were trying to get into my pockets...
Emily Mowrer... saw her friends beaten and punched and full beer bottles thrown at them... She called 911 on her cellphone.
"I saw some of my friends on the ground getting beat pretty severely... Some people had their wallets stolen... it seemed like an attack. Like they weren't after anything - just violence."
"I heard laughing as they were beating everybody up. They were eating chips like it was a picnic... All I remember is seeing bright lights (after the punch), then my backpack was gone and blood was spurting out of my head."
"Clearly we had mob-like behavior in the incidents involving the robberies at Reservoir Park as well as the ransacking of the BP station. . . . Certainly we had elements of mob-like behavior that challenged us on July 3," Flynn said.
"About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn't listen to us, they wouldn't take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating," Bublitz said.