Madison police report several arrests after gunshots, crowbar assault following peaceful protest

State Street police

MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s interim police chief says officers largely stayed out of the fray in the third day of protests over the death of George Floyd, but nine people were arrested once property was destroyed and assaults were reported.

Protests began early Monday afternoon, with protesters blocking traffic on John Nolen Drive. From there, they marched toward the state capitol, where protests continued well into the night and into the early morning hours. Even as the city’s 9:30 p.m. curfew time came and went, officers made no attempt to engage or break up the rally at the Capitol.

#LIVE: A large group of people continues to gather in downtown Madison tonight to protest over the death of George Floyd. Our Amanda Quintana and Madalyn O'Neill have the latest.

Posted by News 3 Now / Channel 3000 on Monday, June 1, 2020

At about 1 a.m., most of the protesters went home, with News 3 Now crews hearing from some in the crowd that anyone that stayed behind to vandalize and loot stores on State Street were separate from the group that remained peaceful through the day.

Officers and members of the National Guard started to assemble at the top of State Street at approximately 1:30 a.m., after reports of looting and other violence. According to Chief Vic Wahl, one person on State Street fired multiple gun shots into the air, and two people were attacked with crowbars. Others were seen trying to light Molotov cocktails.

NOW: police arriving on State Street

Posted by News 3 Now / Channel 3000 on Monday, June 1, 2020

Wahl says chemical agents were used after officers were hit with rocks and other thrown items.

Several windows were smashed along State Street and stores were looted for a third straight night. Wahl says police also got reports of a number of other looting incidents elsewhere in the city.

Earlier in the day, protesters had largely policed themselves, speaking out against violence and stopping those who tried to smash store windows.