McKissick, Clifford (Shooting of)

During Milwaukee’s 1967 civil disturbance (sometimes referred to as a “riot”), 18-year-old African American college student Clifford McKissick was shot in the neck and killed by a police officer. A graduate of Rufus King High School, McKissick attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His death was one of the greatest tragedies of the disturbance. The police claimed that McKissick and three other youths had tried to set fire to a building with Molotov cocktails, and that it was while fleeing from the scene that police shot McKissick. McKissick’s family and several neighbors claimed, however, that he had been sitting on the front porch when all of a sudden everyone heard gunshots. Everyone, including McKissick, ran. The death of McKissick enraged Milwaukee’s Black community which became all the more livid when his death was ruled as a justifiable homicide. For some, it was a harsh reminder of the murder of Daniel Bell that had taken place close to a decade earlier. Father James Groppi spoke at McKissick’s funeral. EM