A Wisconsin sheriff reportedly said the downtown Madison area was not safe Wednesday after a turbulent few days that included violent protesters vandalizing buildings, toppling statues and attacking a state senator.
Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney said his agency stands ready to deploy additional resources to assist in handling any new protests. More than one hundred demonstrators gathered in Madison again on Wednesday night, according to Madison’s WMTV.
The recent violence prompted Gov. Tony Evers to activate the National Guard.
Both Evers and Mahoney have been criticized for their early responses to these protests. Mahoney defended his department’s response to the violent outbreak Tuesday and said that by the time his deputies assembled the violence had mostly ceased, WKOW reported. City officials said the earlier firebombing of the City County Building had disrupted a 911 response center, which temporarily prevented incoming 911 calls.
“That is not the behavior that advances reforms in our country,” Mahoney said. He said he supported most of the protesters’ message against police brutality but said violence could impact their efforts.
Protesters block traffic at an intersection an intersection near Capitol Square in Madison, Wis. Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Emily Hamer/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)
Besides two statues being toppled on Tuesday, Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter said he was “assaulted and beat up” by eight to 10 protesters after he said he took a picture of them
Mahoney called on activist groups Freedom Inc. and Urban Triage to publicly denounce Tuesday’s violence in the city.
The Communications Director for Urban Triage, April Kigeye, is attempting to arrange a meeting with the sheriff. She said the group didn’t take part in Tuesday’s events, WKOW reported.
Kigeye urged people “to show the same outrage and disapproval when Black and brown bodies are shot & killed, as when property such as statues are taken down.”
The unrest on Tuesday started after a black man was arrested at a restaurant after police said he brought a bat and a megaphone into the establishment, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report