Protesters stage a "die-in" at Mayfair Mall in support of Dontre Hamilton
MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A group of protesters staged a "die-in" at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, December 23rd. A spokesman for the demonstrators tells FOX6 News they wanted to bring their message to a new audience.
"We have to let people know that black lives matter," a protester told FOX6 News.
Two days before Christmas, chants heard lately on the streets of downtown Milwaukee echoed in Mayfair Mall's Center Court.
"We ain't gonna stop till people are free," a protester said.
Between 30 and 40 people took part in the "die-in." They laid on the ground -- and 14 reasons were read aloud as to why black lives matter -- 14 reasons for the 14 gunshots that hit Dontre Hamilton the day he died in April.
"We have seen injustice this week and we want people to see that this city is not going to get rest until we get justice," a protester said.
After the "die-in" was done, the protesters chanted for a while -- and shouted Dontre Hamilton's name. They then marched out of the building.
Despite there being more security than usual, it did not appear mall security was actively trying to stop the demonstration.
Although it was a loud and vocal demonstration inside Mayfair Mall, it did not appear to disrupt holiday shopping. However, at least one store temporarily pulled down its gate while some shoppers stopped to watch.
"I can't breathe because Wisconsin is the worst state for black people," a protester said.
"I feel like we were able to reach folks that are silent in this debate," a protester said.
Wauwatosa police have issued this statement to FOX6 News:
"A peaceful protest was held at Mayfair Mall’s Center Court at approximately 4:30 p.m. today. The protestors read a statement, chanted for several minutes, and disbanded peacefully. The event lasted for approximately 15 minutes. Mayfair Mall is open and guests continue to shop."