Madison man says a group of Trump supporters called him a racial slur outside of Portillo’s; MPD investigating

MADISON, Wis. — Shortly after watching violence unfold in the nation’s Capitol yesterday, Madison resident Yisrael Ami said he was confronted by a group of Trump supporters outside of Portillo’s on the east side.

“I came back to the car. Thirty seconds later, my daughter is in the backseat and says ,’Dad there are the Trump supporters.'”

Ami said he and his daughter were waiting in his car for his wife to come out of the restaurant when five people pulled into the parking lot, parked beside him and started yelling racial slurs.

“It was the longest 3-4 minutes of my life,” Ami said.

Ami said growing up as a Black man in America, he’d heard about this happening to others, but never before experienced it himself.

“I didn’t even do anything,” he said. “It’s not like I said something to this lady. I’m sitting in my car. I was on my phone.”

Ami said he called 9-1-1. Police followed up with a phone call but Ami said they basically told him they’re sorry it happened and to go home.

“Like, you should have met with me at an undisclosed location or met with me somewhere else so I can explain the severity of what took place,” Ami said. “I’m a victim of this unfortunate thing. I’m nervous. I want to get this off my chest.”

Ami later filed a police report and contacted Corey Marionneaux, the founder of the Black Men Coalition of Dane County.

“It’s not OK for a man to be with his child and to be harassed by a group of individuals no matter who they are,” Marionneaux said.

Marianneaux reached out to the Mayor and District Attorney to follow up with an investigation.

“Dane County is not going to allow chaos and people to call us the n-word and think it’s OK and think they can just get away with it,” Marionneaux said. “That incident could have totally turned into something else.”

“I was hurt,” Ami said. “Here were are in 2021 after all that we’ve been through, all the giant strides we’ve made and all these things we’ve done for this country. To be called that in this day and age, it’s like a constant reminder. They constantly want to let us know to stay in your place.”

With the pain from the experience, Ami said he hopes his message of how he’s moving forward resonates with the people who caused his pain in the first place.

“Hurt people hurt people,” Ami said. “Let’s sit down to eat. Spend the night at my house. Let me spend the night at your house. Let’s try to heal together. I’m just trying to live my life, take care of my family, take care of the people around me, trying to be inspiring, trying to be the message that I bring. I’m trying to be the change that I want to see in the world. I suggest that they do the same.”

Madison Police are currently investigating the incident.

Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway is aware of the incident and said in a statement, “Racial slurs and intimidation are never acceptable. People of color in our community must feel safe going about their daily lives. I hope that MPD is able to locate the people responsible.”