MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers called on protesters to respond with "empathy and compassion" as demonstrations turned violent in Madison Saturday night.
"Right now, we must respond with our empathy and compassion," Evers said in a series of posts to his Twitter account. "We must remember that anger and grief about injustice never need justification."
We cannot let the work of a few undermine the pain felt by our Black neighbors or distract from the source of this grief and anger—we must remember George Floyd, his life matters, he should still be alive today.
Right now, we must respond with our empathy and compassion. We must remember that anger and grief about injustice never need justification.
Crowds gathered Saturday afternoon on the Capitol square to voice their anger and grief at the death of George Floyd, a man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police. A video went viral on social media showing an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes.
The protests were peaceful and broke up around 4:30 p.m. However a smaller group of people migrated to state street and began to vandalize storefronts. Police intervened.
While most in the crowd simply observed the goings on or continued peaceful protests, a small subset hurled rocks and bottles at officers. Authorities responded with gas and pepper spray.
Some would go on to set a police car on fire.
"We need systemic change to address the racism in our state and our country," Evers said. "As folks continue to protest and demand accountability and change, please do so peacefully—be kind to each other, help each other, and keep each other safe."
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