Leaked video of Mayor Rhodes-Conway supporting police sparks backlash.

  • Post Author
    by News director
  • Post Date
    Wed Jun 10 2020
In the video, the Mayor expresses her gratitude for the efforts of the MPD and shares in their frustrations over protestors' criticisms. Photo: Still from the leaked video.
Listen to the audio version of this story above, originally aired on 6/10/20.

Author: Sam Buisman

A leaked video of Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway praising the recent efforts of the Madison Police Department enrages protestors demanding an end to police brutality.

On Tuesday night, a video of Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway expressing her sympathy and support for MPD officers leaked to the internet and spread across social media. In the video, Rhodes-Conway apologizes to the MPD for not expressing her gratitude earlier and emphasizes with officers' frustrations over the criticisms of protestors. 

“I spoke with an officer in the CCB garage recently who said that they hoped I know how hard it is and that you are not who the protestors say you are,” said Rhodes-Conway in the video. “I know that.”

The video drew immediate backlash from local activists protesting for sweeping changes in policing, who saw the Mayor's remarks as condoning of the violent tactics used to suppress protestors and dismissive of their demands to reform or defund the police. 

In another video address published Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Rhodes-Conway confirmed the authenticity of the leaked video and apologized for not re-affirming her support for the Black Lives Matter movement in her address to the MPD.

“I realize I may have done irreparable harm with my actions,” said Rhodes-Conway. “I realize too that I may have permanently lost any trust that I have had. But whether or not I can regain that trust, please know that I am deeply committed to advancing the work of equitable systems change.”

In previous public statements, Rhodes-Conway has espoused her support for both the goals of protestors and the efforts of local law enforcement