Wife of La Crosse’s Mayor injured during protest Saturday evening

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– During a protest in La Crosse on Saturday, the mayor’s wife was hit with pepper spray by someone in a passing vehicle. Mayor Tim Kabat confirms his wife, Christy Kabat, was the protester injured during the alleged incident.

According to police at the scene Saturday evening, someone in a vehicle stopped by the rally sprayed pepper spray.

Mayor Kabat said in a statement that he questioned why someone was driving so close to the crowd of marchers and had pepper spray readily available. He hopes the police fully investigate the reasons why that occurred and to the degree of sending her to the emergency room.

It was the second night of protests for the city in response to the officer-involved death of George Floyd. Floyd died when a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, allegedly held his knee on his throat for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with murder.

“We must keep the focus on honoring George Floyd and in demanding justice and change. What is happening in our country right now is bigger than the mayor or the mayor’s spouse.  It is unfortunate that the peaceful protest was marred by this incident,” said Kabat in a statement.

Mayor Kabat added that Christy is the strongest person he knows and they appreciate all the kind notes and well wishes. She is doing better.

The La Crosse Police Department said the incident has been referred to the municipal prosecutor for consideration.