After a third night of protest in Madison, Governor calls for police reform.

  • Post Author
    by News director
  • Post Date
    Tue Jun 02 2020
Peaceful protests were again followed by rioting and aggressive policing on Monday night. Photo: Carla Christenson.
Listen to the audio version of this story here, originally aired on 6/2/20.

Author: Sam Buisman

Protests, policing and violence rattled Madison for a third night on Monday as the Governor calls for police reform.

Before last night's curfew, several hundred demonstrators demanding justice for George Floyd and police reform blocked the intersection of Northshore Drive and John Nolan Drive, prompting Madison Police to divert traffic away from the area but not break up the protest. About a half-hour after Monday's 9:30 P.M. curfew, around 300 protestors gathered in front of the Capitol and stayed late into the night, participating in chants and cheers.

According to the Madison Police Department, while law enforcement initially decided not to break up this protest, as it came to an end near 1:00 A.M. and people began to spread across the downtown area, looting and vandalism began.

Certain State Street landmarks, including the “Forward” statue and entryway to popular eatery Short Stack, were vandalized throughout the course of the evening. Additionally, an NBC15 photojournalist and reporter were attacked by a looter while live on the air.

The “Forward” statue on Tuesday morning. Photo: Carla Christenson.

As on Saturday and Sunday night, this sparked a militarized response from law enforcement officials. Police in riot gear assisted by the National Guard drove the remaining crowds off the street using tear gas, mace and physical force and arrested a total of 15 people.

Governor Tony Evers gave his first major address regarding the unrest surrounding George Floyd in a video message early Tuesday afternoon, calling on all Wisconsinites to stand in solidarity with its black communities.

“We must see the trauma, fear, and exhaustion of being Black in our state and in our country,” said the Governor. “We must reject the efforts of those who seek to undermine and distract from the pain of generations of injustice. We must condemn all those who encourage violence against Black lives. We must offer our compassion, we must offer our support, but most of all, we must offer our action.”

The Governor called on the Wisconsin Legislature to pass Assembly Bill 1012, which would establish tighter accountability measures for state law enforcement.

The City of Madison remains in a state of emergency through the end of today and a curfew is in effect from 9:30 P.M. tonight to 5:00 A.M on Wednesday morning.