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Community activist accused in 2016 riots granted release

July 5, 2018

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A community activist accused of attempting to firebomb a police station during riots in Milwaukee two summers ago will be released from jail ahead of his trial.

Thirty-one-year-old Van Mayes is charged in federal court with attempted arson, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a destructive device. Authorities say he plotted to firebomb a Milwaukee police station in the aftermath of civil unrest in parts of the Sherman Park neighborhood in 2016, hours after Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Syville Smith.

Federal prosecutors had asked that Mayes be detained. Mayes’ attorney argued that his client has cooperated with authorities and has stayed out of trouble in the last two years.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ordered Mayes to be released. Prosecutors are deciding whether to appeal.

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