MADISON, Wis. – The mother of a biracial 19-year-old killed by a white police officer urged hundreds of protesters who gathered Wednesday to keep their march as peaceful as other rallies have been in the wake of the shooting five days earlier.
"My son was never a violent man, and I don't want to see violence in his name," Andrea Irwin, Tony Robinson's mother, said to those gathered for a march that was to include a stop at the state Department of Corrections headquarters to protest black incarceration rates.
Demonstrators also planned to deliver demands to Gov. Scott Walker, who called Irwin on Wednesday to express his condolences for her loss.
A separate rally to show support for police drew dozens of people to a law enforcement memorial at the Capitol. "People think our police department is losing credibility and I think it's important for us just to be there to support them," said Ron Torrisi. But Torrisi said he was optimistic that Madison would not see the violence that followed a similar shooting last year in Ferguson, Mo.
Lori Schroedl, the wife of a Madison police officer, said she came to the rally because "everybody's lives matter."