PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ THIS AND REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR OWN CITY IF YOU LIVE IN MADISON NOW
CW: Violence against Black people
This week in Madison, Wisconsin (a.k.a. the capital of the most segregated state in America):
On Thursday, July 9, a white man attacked a Black woman and her children at Woodman’s, shouting racial slurs, striking her repeatedly in the face, and shoving her four-year-old daughter to the ground. He was charged with two misdemeanors (Battery and Disorderly Conduct) and released on $650 bail hours later.
On Friday, July 10, a Black woman was pulled over on East Washington and she was outside of her vehicle handcuffed while police officers stood surrounding her with their guns drawn. She was eventually released. Evidently her car had been stolen and she recovered it. The woman was pulled over, but the system had not been updated. When the police ran her plates, the vehicle came back as stolen. Around 8-10 police cars showed up and were parked to block cameras from filming their actions.
Yeshua Musa, the prominent Black activist who was arrested and accused of making threats against area businesses, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on two counts of extortion. If convicted, Yeshua (a.k.a. Devonere Johnson) faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.
Meanwhile, charges have yet to be filed against Brendan J. Oneil, the man who, on June 21, allegedly drove into a crowd on University Avenue in downtown Madison and ran over 24-year-old Black woman Alize Carter, sending her to the hospital. Oneil was arrested by police on the night of June 24 and released one hour later, after posting a $350 bail. The initial charge against Oneil was misdemeanor hit-and-run with the intent to injure. On Friday, interim Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne offered differing takes on the case. Ozanne informed the Cap Times that he still has not received a referral for charges from police. However, Wahl said Oneil’s arrest served as a referral and that it is now in the hands of the District Attorney’s office to make final charging decisions and then move forward with prosecution. “Because of COVID, there’s not a rush for them to formally charge him or to have an initial appearance or anything like that,” he explained.
In a disturbing July 7 press release, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office publicly called out the Free The 350 Bail Fund, a Black-led prison-abolition group, for bailing three Black people out of jail.
In response to a July 10 proposal by Madison common council members banning the use of so-called less-lethal or non-lethal weapons, Acting Chief Wahl stated the proposal would likely increase lethal force use by Madison police officers. “If you restrict our options to resolve situations with less lethal non-lethal weapons force options, then you increase the opportunity for bad outcomes,” he said.
Also on Friday, every business in Hilldale Mall closed at 2:30 p.m. due to a planned event outside the Apple Store “for the safety of our staff and customers.” The event was a peaceful and family-friendly block party organized by Black Umbrella Global as part of a week-long celebration of Black culture. #ProtectBlackWomen #DefundPolice #DefendBlackPeople #EndPoliceBrutality #BlackLivesMatter #FreeYeshua #WhiteSilenceIsViolence #NoJusticeNoPeace #ShutItDown