(Beaver Dam) About 150 people marched in support of Black Lives Matter in Beaver Dam on Saturday afternoon. Sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the group chanted and carried signs that read “A Badge Is Not A License To Kill” and “Humanity Over Politics.” The march began on North Spring Street near Industrial Drive and concluded on the other side of the city at Swan Park, where Amillian Styles of Beaver Dam was one of the speakers. Styles highlighted the struggles of the black community and called for unity and change.
“There is a lot of hate going on in this world right now,” Styles told those assembled at the Swan Park gazebo, “There’s a lot of misunderstanding in the world too. People don’t understand why you are marching and why your upset. But this movement is not just Beaver Dam; it is all around the world. It is our job, our duty, our responsibility to make everybody understand that every life is important.”
Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says his department provided an escort for the peaceful march, which he says went “without incident.”
“We put on a couple auxiliary officers and used a couple patrolmen who were not busy going to different intersections to help them,” Kreuziger says, “We thought it’d be nice if we could help them out getting across those intersections because there are so many people, especially busy intersections…it made it easier for them to stay together so they didn’t get split up.”
A permit was not needed for the group since the marchers kept to the sidewalk. Kreuziger says the role of law enforcement in monitoring the march was to keep the protestors safe along the way. He said those marching were very respectful and peaceful as they practiced their First Amendment rights. The chief stayed at Swan Park for the speakers and a community meal that followed, taking time to talk with organizers and others in attendance.
Styles made it a point to highlight the difficult job of law enforcement and the importance of a healthy relationship between the community and police.
“Yes, they have a hard job and yes they have hard decisions to make,” Styles says, “and though they’re not perfect – none of us are – they try every day. We support you also. The only way we’re going to end this…is to let them know that we support them and for them to let us know they support us.”
As the crowd directed their chant of “one love” to the police in attendance with their index fingers in the air, Chief Kreuziger reciprocated waiving his finger in the air with them.