Downtown Madison protests take violent turn
A peaceful daytime protest in downtown Madison over the death of George Floyd gave way to a more destructive night as police in riot gear clashed with demonstrators.
Windows were smashed and people were seen going into businesses along State Street. Madison police officers fired tear gas into the crowds, trying to get them to disperse, as some protesters hurled rocks and other objects at them.
The Madison Police Department confirmed to NBC15 that two officers were injured during the protest and were taken to the hospital for treatment. There is no word on their condition at this time.
During an evening new conference, Acting Chief Vic Wahl was not able to say how many people have been detained during the evening’s confrontation.
In a statement released prior to the news conference, MPD released a statement noting the large number of people who participated in the organized protest earlier in the day. According to police, as that crowd began dispersing, approximately 150 stayed behind.
Those are the people who started damaging vehicles and breaking windows, police allege, at one point trying to break into a jewelry store. MPD stated its officers used “chemical agents” to disperse the crowd, which they say are continuing to damage property and loot stores.
The "Justice for George" rally began at 12 p.m., where protesters could be seen holding signs, chanting and speaking through loudspeakers. Passing cars could also be heard honking in support.
On the rally's Facebook page, more than 1,000 people said they would attend.
NBC15 News crews at the rally reported that roads intersecting at the Capitol were closed. A few Capitol Police officers could be seen outside where the rally was being held.
It also appeared that most protesters were wearing masks, and some people were also handing out free masks to people.
they were cooperating with police on security.
The Madison protest comes a day after hundreds rallied in Milwaukee. Those protests were peaceful, but at night several businesses were
by crowds on the city's north side.