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National Guard responds to Green Bay; no major issues reported

The Wisconsin National Guard helps police in Green Bay. June 1, 2020. (WBAY Photo)
The Wisconsin National Guard helps police in Green Bay. June 1, 2020. (WBAY Photo)(WBAY)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 5:40 AM CDT
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There were no major issues overnight as communities in the Green Bay area enacted curfews in response to some violence in the city.

The Wisconsin National Guard responded to Green Bay overnight to help local police enforce the 9 p.m. curfew. Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Oneida and Bellevue all enacted curfews.

The curfew is in effect again Tuesday night.

Some businesses closed early and boarded up their windows and doors out of caution.

The curfews are in response to a shooting and looting at the Marathon gas station at Walnut and Monroe in downtown Green Bay Sunday night.

Some people were arrested overnight for violating the curfew, according to Green Bay Police. But there were no reports of violence.

"You can protest all you want until 9 o'clock. And once 9 o'clock ticks by then you come in violation of the new curfew law we have here in Green Bay," said Police Chief Andrew Smith. "Once you're in violation of that, you're subject to arrest. They were given warnings, they did not respond as requested, so they were detained and will ultimately be cited."

Smith says 125 National Guard members responded to Green Bay to help. Some soldiers guarded the police station. Others helped protect the courts and city hall.

Peaceful protests continued in Northeast Wisconsin Monday over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin has been charged with 3rd Degree Murder and Manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Court documents state Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for just shy of nine minutes. Three other officers failed to intervene as Floyd stated that he couldn't breathe. Police had responded to a report that Floyd had passed a fake bill at a business.

Video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck amid his cries for help spurred demonstrations across the country.

On Sunday night, groups of mostly young people gathered at the Marathon station in downtown Green Bay. Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith says looters turned on the police and started throwing items at the officers. One officer was hit by a brick. Squad cars were damaged.

Someone fired multiple shots at the gas station, but no one was shot.

"At some point the crowd there decided to loot the Marathon station and as they were doing that shots were fired, multiple shots were fired," says Chief Smith. "We believe from outside the Marathon gas station toward the Marathon gas station, and that sparked the violent reaction from the crowd."

Vandals wandered the streets overnight Sunday into Monday and broke windows at local businesses.

On Monday, some of the protester organizers helped clean up at the Marathon gas station that was looted. They have condemned the violence and say it doesn't represent their mission.

"If you all looting because you all raged out, I don't condone it, I don't encourage it," says protester Dajahnae Williams. "But I feel your pain and your hurt. So if that's what you all feel like you wanna do, I'm not going to do it. We are going to move this party elsewhere."

Community Activist Rosita Jackson-Enos said Monday that she condemns Sunday's violence as "wreaking havoc and attempting to cause terror."

"To all these people who want to go around and tear up things, I have something to say to you all. Why don't you tear up in your own blasted yards and leave our community alone," says Enos.

Chief Smith says he strongly supports the rights of people to peacefully protest in the city and his department is in solidarity.

"We recognize that peaceful protest is something that we do in this country and we hold sacred, and that we support as law enforcement. Not only to we support it here in Green Bay, but we will help facilitate it and ensure that people's First Amendment rights and their rights to peacefully assemble are supported and facilitated and happen here in Green Bay without obstruction," says Smith.

Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, 151 N Broadway, is one of the businesses that boarded up Monday.

"After hearing the cat cafe in Minneapolis was broken into we just decided to be better safe than sorry if anything does come to the Broadway District," says Elizabeth Feldhausen.

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