Update: the gathering time of the cleanup has been moved from 5 am to 7 am Sunday.
More than 2,000 people gathered for more than four hours peacefully Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Public Safety Building — where the County Jail is housed — and ultimately to Williamson Street, where Tony Robinson was killed by a Madison police officer in 2015.
That protest ended around 4:30, and a much smaller group that Madison police estimate at 150 returned to the Capitol area and began breaking windows, overturning planters and trying to get into Goodman’s Jewelers. When police attempted to disperse them, some threw rocks and chairs at police, Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl said.
“The main group of protesters and demonstrators had dispersed and we really thought the event was over with a successful resolution. It was just this relatively small group that started engaging in this destructive behavior,” Wahl said at a press conference late Saturday.
“For the peaceful protest this afternoon, I want to thank the organizers and participants. What happened afterward was a disgrace,” said Madison Common Council president Shari Carter.
Wahl said no arrests had been made.
In the wake of the destruction, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson took to Facebook to call for 100 volunteers to gather at Library Mall at 7 am Sunday to help clean up, and donate to an online fundraiser to support businesses that were damaged.
Nearly $5,000 was raised as of 9:30 pm Saturday. A Facebook event for the cleanup had about 250 people committed to attend and about 1,000 interested as of 9:30 Saturday night.