‘Trying to keep the peace takes its toll’: MPD thanks officers in viral post for their help working protests

Madison Officer With Head Down 1280square
The Madison Police Department posted this picture to its Facebook page Monday and thanked fellow officers for their help with the protests in Madison.

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Police Department’s photo of an officer, and an accompanying note thanking fellow officers for their help working the protests in Madison this weekend, went viral on social media Monday.

The Madison Police Department posted a photo Monday of an officer in uniform sitting with some of his riot-gear equipment nearby and with his head resting on his hands, braced on his knees and baton.

Interim Chief Vic Wahl said at least 15 people were arrested Sunday into Monday, after a second night of protests devolved into violence in Madison. On Sunday, officers were present starting at around 6 p.m., when a group started protesting peacefully on the Capitol Square. The group grew to several hundred people over the next few hours, extending beyond the 9:30 p.m. curfew set by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

“Trying to keep the peace takes its toll, but we have great men and women who are dedicated to serving the Madison community,” the police department wrote on its Facebook page. “Thank you to all our brothers and sisters in blue, and to those fantastic partner agencies who have come to support the MPD in these turbulent times.”

Less than two hours after the photo was posted, it had more than 1,600 likes,  more than 300 shares and more than 200 comments, with many people echoing the department’s thank you to officers. However, some commenters were critical.

One comment from Michael Vasen said, “Nothing better than relaxing after a long day of tear gassing peaceful protesters!”

Protesting in Madison picked up for a third day on Monday, with a group gathering in front of the Madison Police Department’s downtown building at about noon to speak out against systemic racism and the killing of George Floyd that has sparked nationwide protests and unrest.

PHOTOS: 15 arrested during second night of violent demonstrations