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Menomonie businesses take precautions in case protest turns into riot

Menom Protest Preps 1 06-02-2020

Menomonie (WQOW) - People are planning to attend a peaceful protest in Menomonie to remember George Floyd, but area businesses and city officials are taking precautions in case the protest turns into a riot.

"I'm all about making a statement, that's perfectly okay. That's in the American way, but if it becomes a riot, then of course we'd have to deal with that," said Randy Knaack, mayor of the city of Menomonie.

On Wednesday, people plan to protest on the corner of Broadway and Main to speak on the killing of George Floyd.

In case things get out of hand, Fleet Farm officials say their Menomonie location will have its windows boarded up after business hours.

On the same block the protest will take place, the Parrot Bay Tanning Salon put three 12 gauge shotguns in its window.

A worker said their insurance does not cover riots and hopes the weapons will deter people with bad intentions.

However, Mayor Randy Knaack anticipates the demonstration will be nonviolent.

"I think the majority of the people really want peace," said Knaack. "It's only a handful that really cause issues, and I think we're safe here in Menomonie as a small town, but we are prepared just in case. If something breaks out, we can handle it."

News 18 also spoke with Eric Atkinson, the chief of police of the Menomonie Police Department.

He said he and other officers plan to periodically attend the protest to show their support and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Atkinson said if people come to the event to engage in criminal activity, the MPD will immediately address the situation and take appropriate enforcement action.

MPD also recommends local business owners to take appropriate precautions they feel are necessary to secure their establishments.

The protest is scheduled to take place Wednesday, June 3, from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in downtown Menomonie.

Click/tap here for the Facebook event.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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