75 State Street Madison Businesses Damaged During Saturday Night Riots

75 State Street Madison Businesses Damaged During Saturday Night Riots



By Jessica VanEgeren

May 31, 2020

Hundreds respond to call to clean up Sunday morning. Curfew in place again Sunday night.

Hundreds of people, many with brooms and dustpans in hand, arrived Sunday morning to State Street in Madison, where rioting and looting broke out following a peaceful protest to condemn the killing of George Floyd the night before.

According to Madison Police, 75 businesses on State Street, the iconic thoroughfare that connects the Capitol to the UW-Madison campus, were damaged or looted as well as businesses on either side of the city. 

Madison Interim Police Chief Victor Wahl said the peaceful rally ended around 4:30 p.m. and the crowd began to disperse. However, a group of around 150 remained in the area, and began damaging property, Wahl said during a press conference Saturday night. 

A Justice for George Rally was held Saturday in Madison. The peaceful rally ended, with rioting and looting subsequently occurring Saturday and Sunday nights.

Within two hours of the press conference ending, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew on Madison’s downtown district. The curfew takes effect again Sunday from 9:30 p.m. until 5 .a.m. Monday.

The state of emergency is in effect until Wednesday. 

“I do not take this action lightly, and I want to be clear that this is in response to a number of people endangering themselves and others by shattering glass, destroying property, and engaging in widespread, systematic looting of local businesses,” said the mayor in a statement. “This is NOT in response to the peaceful and legitimate protests that took place earlier today.”

She encouraged those who are protesting the murder of George Floyd and “the insidious, systemic racism that our country suffers from” to follow Madison’s Black leaders and Black-led organizations. 

75 State Street Madison Businesses Damaged During Saturday Night Riots
Volunteers with cleaning supplies work along State Street in downtown Madison, Wis., after protestors damaged many business. (Photo © Andy Manis)

“To anyone from outside Madison, seeking to foment trouble and harm our community: this emergency order is also directed at you,” Rhodes-Conway said. “We don’t want you here, and we reject any attempt to incite violence.”



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