The demonstrations of 2020.
Peaceful protest at the Riviera last Wednesday, June 3, 2020, and Lake Geneva City Hall on Saturday, June 6, 2020, went as planned. Order Squad hosted the events and indicated that it is a group about peace and non-violence. Mark Zulkowski, and a few others, founded Order Squad right after the death of George Floyd at the beginning of the protests, riots, and looting. The mission of Order Squad, according to Mark, is to encourage change without chaos, destruction, and violence. The events hosted by this organization were more like a rally and both demonstrations were peaceful.
On Wednesday, law enforcement was in abundance all over the Lake Geneva area where the demonstrations were held. Order Squad reached out to law enforcement prior to the events, informing and inviting all officers to join in and be a part of the gatherings. The officers on foot patrol stopped at nearby businesses and talked to citizens inside, as well as stopping to consult with the people on the street, informing everyone about the events and what was expected. Their conduct eased the minds and nerves of many business owners, employees, and the people of Lake Geneva that they talked to. Police Departments also sent personnel from surrounding communities and a staging area was established at Central Denison Elementary. Needless to say, the police were prepared for the worst, but while expecting the best.
Approximately three-hundred people gathered at the Riviera Complex grounds for inspirational messages on the first afternoon. Unity, support, and eight minutes and forty-two seconds of silence while kneeling in honor of George Floyd took place. The police officers and sheriffs were a big part of the rally. Sheriff Picknell, Chief Rasmussen, many more law enforcement officers, and the public attending, shared a very meaningful time together. The evening could not have gone any better. There were rumors floating around that the protest on Saturday would be more aggressive and not so peaceful. This did not turn out to be the case, as the event was much smaller and quieter. The police department appeared very comfortable with the rally taking place and the need for such a large police presence like Wednesday was not necessary.
The police chief gave an update at the police and fire commission meeting last Thursday and highlighted the fact that the Wednesday protest had gone so well, and also mentioned: “what a beautiful example the people of Lake Geneva gave to the country.”