Protesters from Black Lives Matter and other organizations made their way to the middle of John Nolen Drive in Madison and blocked traffic during rush hour on Thursday.
The protest initially started at the headquarters of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and was organized by Freedom Inc. They said they wanted to demand accountability and community control of the police, and that the police union prevents officers from being held accountable to the people they are supposed to protect and serve.
Some people held arms and blocked traffic for about two hours until 6:30. It caused long traffic backups. Police say they were a few near crashes — ambulances were delayed as they were taking patients to hospitals — and the protest held up officers who were planning to respond to early evening storm damage in Dane County. Ten people were arrested.
Officials with WPPA issued a statement saying they respect and support the inalienable right of all Americans to engage in free speech. They said the ability to exchange diverse and opposing views can help the public become more informed and the government more representative of the people it serves.