Protesters clash with police, counter-protesters on final day of DNC

NOW: Protesters clash with police, counter-protesters on final day of DNC

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- On the very last day of the Democratic National Convention, protesters gathered downtown Milwaukee to demand police accountability from elected officials. However, they were quickly met with counter-protesters, and the groups clashed with police.

The Coalition to March on the DNC organized a rally and march at Red Arrow Park scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 20. Omar Flores, the coalition's spokesperson, told CBS 58 that the group was expecting 500-600 people at the rally. They planned to march from the park and make several stops, including the Wisconsin Center where the mostly-virtual convention is being held.

"We're gathered here to make sure Donald Trump is defeated. We're here to hold Biden and the Democrats to a higher standard. They need to jail killer cops," Flores said.

An hour before the march was scheduled to begin, the coalition held a news conference featuring the families of Joel Acevedo, who died after off-duty Milwakee Police officer Michael Mattioli put him in a chokehold, and Jonathon Tubby, who died in the hands of Green Bay police in 2018. 

As the news conference was beginning, a group of counter-protesters gathered at the park with one person yelling into a megaphone. The counter-protesters were holding signs saying "abortion is murder" and similar anti-abortion rights messages. Members of the two groups began to confront one another with yelling and shoving.

A few dozen Milwaukee police officers arrived on scene on horseback and on bicycles, and a confrontation began with the protesters.

Acevedo's lawyer told reporters that Acevedo's family came to the rally on the last day of the DNC calling for legislative changes, hoping to keep Republicans and Democrats accountable.

Flores said they want to organize "outside of the electoral process."

"People always seem to ask that question like, 'Who are you voting for? Why didn't you vote for Biden? You at least agree on some things, right?' That might be true for some people, and I'm sure that there's even people in our march that are going to be voting for Joe Biden, but that's not really the conversation we're looking to have. The conversation we're looking to have is about grassroots movements."

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