GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) This weekend in Green Bay protests over the death of George Floyd will bring protesters into the downtown district to have their voices heard. And while police don’t anticipate problems – they’ll be ready to keep everyone safe.
In downtown Green Bay the streets are quiet with few people moving within the central city.
But come this weekend Mayor Eric Genrich says downtown is expected to be a busy place again, as protesters return to call for justice after the death of George Floyd.
“This is core to who we are as a people, coming together to express our opinions in a democracy,” said Mayor Genrich.
Police say they’ve spoken with protest organizers and they don’t anticipate there will be trouble. But they will have officers out and about to maintain a peaceful environment.
“We have contingency plans. We’re preparing as much as we can – that any and all people, regardless of if they’re in the protest or the community, that everybody is safe,” said Green Bay Police Commander Kevin Warych.
Safety became a concern after a standoff between protesters and police erupted this past Sunday. Items were thrown at police and a number of businesses in the downtown were vandalized as their windows were broken – many still boarded up.
“Without a doubt, there is uncertainty among the business owners,” said Jeff Mirkes of Downtown Green Bay Inc.
Mirkes says his business members fully support the desire of protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights. But he says violent protests accomplish nothing.
“We’re very hopeful that people who are demonstrating this weekend make good choices,” Mirkes said.
And so too is Commander Warych.
“We will always support people’s right to assemble, people’s right to protest. We just ask that they do it peacefully,” Warych said.
“I don’t think anyone should fear these protests occurring over the weekend,” said Mayor Genrich.