Mayor Rhodes-Conway urges an end to nighttime protests to stop their exploitation.

The Mayor asked protesters to cease their activities before nightfall to prevent outside criminals from exploiting them for violence. Photo: Carla Christenson. Graphic: Sam Buisman

Author: Sam Buisman

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway pleads protestors to stop going out at night and for an end to the violence downtown. 

In an official statement published Tuesday evening, Mayor Rhodes-Conway delivered an impassioned appeal to Madisonians to acknowledge the exploitation of late-night protests for George Floyd by criminals looking to loot and destroy downtown Madison. The Mayor implored protestors to get off the streets before Tuesday night to prevent further mayhem.

“It is time for this to end. Please stay home tonight,” wrote Rhodes-Conway. “I welcome protests – particularly in the daytime – but I do not want legitimate protests to continue to provide cover for this violent, unacceptable behavior.” 

Mayor Rhodes-Conway also expressed her support for Madison’s police forces and praised their efforts thus far to keep the peace.

“Our officers were pelted with bricks and rocks,” wrote Rhodes-Conway. “I hope that everyone appreciates the efforts of these officers, as the City has gotten though three nights of unrest with very few serious injuries.” 

Other city officials have criticized Madison law enforcement in their response to the continuing protests for their tactics, which have included using tear gas, mace and blunt force to disperse protestors. 

In previous press conferences, Mayor Rhodes-Conway has emphasized her support for the protestors’ goals, which include justice for George Floyd, a black Minnesotan who was killed while handcuffed by a white Minneapolis police officer, and socially conscious police reform.