Crowds gathered outside the Madison Municipal Building Monday night, kicking off the second week of protests against the killing of George Floyd.
Attendees grilled food for attendees while one group painted “Defund the Police” on the street outside City Hall.
Sire Gq, an organizer with What’s Next? Forum: Madison, broke down what exactly community control would mean.
“Our objective is reallocating funds from the police department into the community,” Gq said. “It’s a bigger problem, this system, and we have to fix it, so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take action.”
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Gq then invited crowd members to sign letters addressed to Gov. Tony Evers, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Mark Pocan asking them to defund the police and reallocate funding to community efforts.
Youth organizer De’Asia Donaldson also spoke about the need for community control, asking members of the crowd to raise their hand if they knew who their local police officers were.
When no hands were raised Donaldson said community members must have a say in the hiring and firing of officers, starting with firing Matt Kenny, the officer who killed Tony Robinson, an unarmed Madison teen, in 2015.
“Do you think it’s fair to get to know who the fuck is protecting and serving us?” Donaldson said. “The way we are gonna do this, we are gonna spam them. We are gonna go there, we are gonna make sure they know our faces.”
Another youth organizer, Ayomi Obuseh, then discussed Breonna’s Law. This law was developed after the death of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed woman killed by Louisville police after they broke into the wrong home during a drug raid.
Breonna’s law would ban the “no-knock” warrant police used to enter Taylor’s home, requiring officers to announce themselves before entering into a home.
“You have to state why you are there, you have to state who you are looking for and if you do not have that person there, you go, you leave, because that’s respect,” Obuseh said.
Their final demand, the Hands Up Act, states that if there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot by a police officer, then the officer is immediately fired.
Sharon Irwin, Tony Robinson’s grandmother, said this act would have brought justice to her family after Robinson’s death.
“Matt Kenny showed up at 6:37, at 6:38 my grandson had seven bullets in him,” Irwin said. “He said ‘please don’t’ and he put his hands up, they shot him in the hands, they shot him in his shoulder, he was falling forward and they shot him in the face.”
After laying out their demands, Impact Demand announced they will have more events in the coming days and asked those interested in helping out behind the scenes to write their contact information on a notebook circulated through the crowd.
Donaldson emphasized the importance of keeping the momentum going and making sure the protests resulted in actual change.
“We are the impact, and we’re demanding some shit be changed,” Donaldson said.