Hundreds in Madison march in solidarity with Kenosha protesters

MADISON, Wis. — Hundreds participated in a peaceful protest in Madison Saturday afternoon, starting on the university campus and ending at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

“Today is all about fighting for justice,” said organizer Naomi Hollard. “Today is actually in solidarity with the organizing in Kenosha.”

Hollard says she and other protesters are demanding criminal charges for Kenosha police officer Rusten Shesky, but aren’t certain the DCI is capable of leading an unbiased investigation.

“His case is going to the Department of Justice, specifically the Department of Criminal Investigation,” she said. “It’s supposed to be an independent investigation, but the head of the DCI is a former cop himself.”

Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Brian O’Keefe and Deputy Administrator Michael Sasse are both former law enforcement officers. Hollard says this could lead towards bias when investigating Shesky’s actions.

“If one of the people helping to lead the investigation itself is an ex-cop, how is that fair?” she said.

Saturday’s protest ended at the State Department of Justice building downtown, where organizers asked those in attendance to call and leave messages for both agencies.

Some attendees of Saturdays march say they disagree with the level of violence Shesky used in shooting Jacob Blake.

“When police see black people, they get this fear that is inhuman,” said Rhoda McKinney, who brought her two children to Saturday’s event.  “They don’t take other measures. Seven times point blank in the back. Like they were trying to take down a bear.”

“(Police) should accept that you shouldn’t kill black people when all they’re doing is cooperating,” said McKinney’s 10-year-old son Nysiah.

Towards the end of Saturday’s event, those in attendance left their shoes in front of the Department of Justice building, to symbolize lives lost to police violence and mass incarceration.