Protesters march to Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s house, demand police cuts

MADISON (WKOW) -- Dozens of demonstrators rallied outside the home of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway Monday evening. It was one stop in more than four hours of marching that began on the city's east side; the demonstrations have continued on a near-daily basis in Madison in response to the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, which has sparked protests around the world.

Demonstrators called on Mayor Rhodes-Conway to address a private video she made addressing Madison Police; that video became public last week, upsetting protesters who felt Rhodes-Conway was trying to secretly placate both demonstrators and police. The marchers also called on Rhodes-Conway to support a 50 percent cut to the MPD budget.

Earlier in the day, a few hundred protesters gathered outside Madison East High School. They heard from a series of speakers including Justice Castaneda from Common Wealth Development.

Castaneda said he supports defunding the police department by taking much of its responsibilities and transferring them to other community-based professionals. As an example, he cited replacing police officers in schools with more social workers.

"A lot of the things that police are doing in schools, is social work and I don't debate that," Castaneda said. "But the question is, why don't we have social workers doing that work?"

After marching back to Madison East, the demonstrators then embarked to Rhodes-Conway's home. After leaving there, most of the protesters went home; about a dozen or so remaining demonstrators then marched to the State Capitol. Accompanied by about a dozen police cars lining the route on E. Washington Avenue, the march ended at the steps to the Capitol on State Street.

"A lot of different thoughts, a lot of different emotions," said Alice Larrue, who took part in the march Monday. "Out here for a change, you know it's time for us to come together and make a change for our community, for our people, for our youth, you know the violence, the racism, it's a lot, it's a lot."

Organizers of Monday's march included Allies for Black Lives - Madison and United Faculty and Academic Staff. They said they plan to continue marches and protests until they achieve their goal of influencing massive cuts to police budgets.

More at WKOW 27 News

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