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Weekend Marchers In Southeastern Wisconsin Lament Police Shooting In Atlanta

Chuck Quirmbach
Protesters outside of the Waukesha Police Station kneel in memory of George Floyd, who died while being detained by Minneapolis police.

Black Lives Matter protests continued in southeastern Wisconsin over the weekend, and more are scheduled for this coming week. Friday night's shooting by police of an African American man in Atlanta, Ga., may have given more fuel to the local movement. 

One of the weekend protests took place in Waukesha, where about 75 people marched through the city. 

>>WUWM & NPR's Latest Protest Coverage

A marcher, who gave her name as Kathy, says she was aware of the Atlanta incident, where Rayshard Brooks was killed following a struggle with police and grabbing an officer’s electrical shock weapon called a Taser.

"It's unbelievable. That in the face of all this going on, that you can shoot somebody who has a Taser — as if that is some threat to your life,” Kathy told WUWM.

A Waukesha protest organizer, Samantha Werner, says the Atlanta shooting adds to what she calls an epidemic.

"We have black folks getting lynched. We have trans people getting set on fire. We have so many things we thought were past them. But it's just not,” Werner said.

NPR reports that two black men in California have been found hanging from trees this month, and their families are rejecting the idea that the deaths were suicides. The burning incident took place in Indonesia. 

Credit Chuck Quirmbach
Protesters listen Sunday as organizer Samantha Werner (right-center) speaks outside Waukesha police headquarters.

Werner says the cases are important, but not the only reason to keep marching. 

"These horrible events, at the end of the day, we shouldn't allow it anymore and we shouldn't depend on harm to come to people's lives to stand up for what's right,” Werner said.

During a stop outside of the Waukesha police station, marchers urged the police to join them. One officer agreed to walk with the protestors back to downtown. Several officers stopped traffic for the marchers during the entire route. 

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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