La Crosse’s fourth protest over the police killing of George Floyd saw at least 500 people show up at Riverside Park on Wednesday night. Many people of color spoke, led by La Crosse native Katrina Sletten.
They spoke of the racism they have experienced in La Crosse — at their jobs, at their schools — trying to open people’s eyes that it is happening, even here.
The four-hour protest then marched to City Hall.
Sletten spoke more at City Hall, demanding change from La Crosse’s leaders. It was there that Mayor Tim Kabat and Police Chief Shawn Kudron took the megaphone and microphone.
First, Kabat pledged that there would be change, but added he would need the community’s help to do it. Kudron spoke next, bringing up that the police would be adding a “transparency tab” to its website, though he didn’t elaborate.
The protest kneeled for 9 minutes of silence — about the same amount of time it took for Minneapolis Police’s Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd by kneeling on the back of his neck — before marching down to Market Street and back to Riverside Park.
There was no looting, no violence. Protest organizers and police were grateful and thankful, afterward, how everything worked out.