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Madison mayor calls for protests to be peaceful

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Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway calls for protests to remain peaceful following unrest in Madison. WKOW photo.
WKOW file photo
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway calls for protests to remain peaceful following unrest in Madison.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway this evening expressed support for the peaceful protest over the killing last week in Minneapolis of George Floyd while in police custody.

The mayor and other community leaders held the news conference following an evening of unrest.

"I share the demonstrators' passion, frustration and resolve that serious social change is needed in our nation," Rhodes-Conway said. "We must address systemic racism in all if its forms."

She said she supported people protesting as long as they wanted, and wherever they wanted, but only if they did so peacefully.

"I am calling on everyone in Madison to come together in pursuit of the kind of city of which we can all be proud," she said.

Rhodes-Conway condemned what she said was a smaller group of protesters that split off from the main group late this afternoon and began damaging storefronts on State Street.

"This violence does nothing to support the interest of social justice, nor police or criminal justice reform" she said.

About 5 p.m., a smaller group of protesters split off from the main group and made their way down State Street.

After attempting to block traffic, a small group threw rocks and smashed the window of Goodman's Jewelers.

Shortly after, Madison police formed a line and moved in on the protesters, firing pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Protesters continued to move down the street, and some overturned planters, while others in the crowd tried to set them back in place.

One person was injured during a scuffle as several people attempted to smash the front door of a storefront and get inside.

Two Madison police officers were injured while responding, and their conditions are unknown.

Others storefronts on State Street had windows smashed.

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Dan Plutchak

Social Media and Digital Content Manager, 27 News

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