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Thursday Protests: MCTS Will Suspend Service At 10 PM; Evers Defends Deploying National Guard

Protests are happening around the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. In Milwaukee, protests have been occurring since last Friday over Floyd's death and other cases of police brutality. Here you'll find ongoing updates about the protests in the Milwaukee area.

You can check more of WUWM's protest coverage:

>>Wednesday, June 3
>>Tuesday, June 2

3:41 p.m.: Evers Defends Decision To Deploy National Guard

Gov. Tony Evers defended his decision Thursday to deploy the Wisconsin National Guard to help police in Madison and Milwaukee control protests over George Floyd's death.

Evers, a Democrat, told reporters during a conference call that he deployed the Guard to protect property in Madison, including the state Capitol building, and utilities in Milwaukee. If the troops actively intervened they did so at the direction of local authorities, he said.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after police in Minneapolis arrested him for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. Cell phone video of the incident shows a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into Floyd's neck while Floyd was handcuffed and laying in the street on his stomach.

Protests over Floyd’s death have rocked the nation, with some demonstrations marked by vandalism, burglaries and violence.

Evers said Thursday the protests are a watershed opportunity to fix systemic racism. He encouraged people to demonstrate lawfully.

“First Amendment rights are not to be trampled in this state or any other state,” Evers said. “Those who decide to do damage are damaging the First Amendment and they're damaging the opportunity for thousands of people across Wisconsin to exercise that First Amendment right.”

-Associated Press

2:59 p.m.: Milwaukee County Transit System Will Suspend Service Starting At 10 PM

Thursday afternoon the MCTS announced that all bus services would be suspended starting at 10 p.m. This is in response to experiencing “significant service disruptions in the past six days.”

MCTS announced it will also suspend service early on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, with service resuming each morning as scheduled. Passengers are encouraged to make alternative nighttime travel plans for the immediate future.

Protests have been happening in Milwaukee since May 29, drawing large crowds and closing major streets and intersections part of the MCTS core bus route network. While daytime detours have allowed bus services to continue, MCTS says trying to do the same during nighttime hours is challenging.  

-Audrey Nowakowski

2:58 p.m.: Three Struck By Vehicle During Milwaukee Protest Thursday Morning

Three people were struck by a vehicle during a protest on Locust Street in Milwaukee on Thursday at about 3:07 a.m., according to the Milwaukee Police Department. Those struck include two officers and a citizen they were attempting to arrest for obstructing traffic and impeding traffic flow.

Police say the citizen was drug underneath the vehicle for a few feet and sustained serious injuries but is in stable condition. The officers sustained non-life threatening injuries.

About 40 minutes after the incident, the vehicle responsible was located and arrests were made.

-Lauren Sigfusson

8:30 a.m.: Milwaukee Police Release Bodycam Footage From Tuesday

Late Wednesday evening, the Milwaukee Police Department released bodycam footage from Tuesday at about 7:30 p.m. In it, police say, protesters can be seen throwing objects at police at the 600 block of W. McKinley Ave. in Milwaukee.

On Tuesday, WUWM reported that police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters near 6th and McKinley soon after.

-Michelle Maternowski

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