MADISON (AP) — A small group of demonstrators broke into boarded-up stores early Tuesday morning in downtown Madison and threw paint on the 125-year-old “Forward” statue outside the state Capitol, marking a third night of confrontations with police who sprayed tear gas to clear the crowd.
Madison police said 15 people were arrested, bringing the total number of arrests since Saturday to at least 32. Madison is among the cities in Wisconsin and nationwide where anger over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked peaceful protests but also property damage and vandalism.
Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl said in his blog that one person in the crowd around 1 a.m. Tuesday fired shots in the air from a handgun and two others were attacked and struck with a crowbar. Multiple police officers were struck with rocks and projectiles, the chief said.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, protesters broke windows, stole items from stores and damaged property in downtown Madison and throughout the city.
The violence Monday came after a larger, peaceful protest in the afternoon shut down a six-lane road in downtown Madison.
Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a white police officer in Minneapolis who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck. His death set off protests that spread across America.