Activists who were marching in solidarity with protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday night claim a police officer sprayed some of them with pepper spray, including a 10-year-old boy.
About 50-100 people were marching in the downtown protest, which was organized by the Black Liberation Project, the Star Tribune reports. The protest came a day after a Wisconsin district attorney's decision not to charge a Madison police officer in the March shooting death of Tony Robinson, a biracial youth.
During the rally – which shut down a few blocks in Minneapolis before moving towards the Hennepin County Government Center – activists say police were spraying irritants at protesters without warning.
Both Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed the incident Wednesday night, and again at a news conference Thursday where they read a prepared statement, saying they too have questions, and have opened an investigation within the Office of Police Conduct Review.
They are asking people who were at the march or who have information on the incident to contact them so officials can have the "full set of facts."
They are also asking those who are planning upcoming marches to inform police of their plans, saying:
"We’ve had tremendous success working with march organizers to make sure that they, and the rest of the general public, remain safe. I am asking those who plan to demonstrate tonight and in the future to contact us so we can work together to continue our nationally-recognized track record of peaceful marches and demonstrations."
Video and photos were posted to Twitter, many with the hashtag #MPLS2Madison, apparently showing an officer spraying something into a protester's face.
Other photos show protesters putting milk in their eyes, which can help counteract the effect of chemical irritants.
The group who organized the protest released a statement on the incident, calling for a "thorough investigation" into the what happened, noting it was a "departure from previously 'peaceful' support" from Minneapolis police officers.
The Black Liberation Project, along with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis have organized a solidarity march for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center following Wednesday night's incident.