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Hundreds to attend protest for ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Avery

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) – Hundreds of people from around the country are expected to peacefully protest the convictions of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey Friday in Manitowoc. Protesters believe they were wrongfully convicted in the death of Teresa Halbach.

Their cases were thrown into the limelight after a Netflix docu-series, “Making a Murderer,” was released last month.

A group of protesters is expected to gather Friday at 10 a.m. CT in a parking lot on the west side of the courthouse. The police department, whose jurisdiction includes the courthouse, says it will monitor the area, but won’t have an officer specifically assigned to work the protest.

The rally is expected to be peaceful.

Police have a plan in place to call for help if needed.

“We could obviously get help from the sheriff’s department, if we needed it,” said Capt. Larry Zimney, Manitowoc Police Dept. “State Patrol will have people in the area that we could draw from if we needed to. Also Brown County has offered people if we need them. And of course, our local mutual aid with Two Rivers or Kiel or other local law enforcement agencies that would be willing to help.”

Across the street from the Manitowoc County courthouse, the Courthouse Pub is getting ready in their kitchen, at the bar, and at the phones for what could be a very busy Friday.

“I expect we’re going to have people coming in and out, warming up,” said John Jagemann, owner of Courthouse Pub, “so [we] kicked up the staff a little bit, the kitchen is ready to go, we’re ready for a bigger crowd on Friday.”

Many people who live in or are from Manitowoc believe the documentary has given people around the country a bad impression of the city. But they hope the people coming in on Friday can leave with a more positive view.

“I’m hoping when they come here they’ll see we’re a small town in Wisconsin, we’re located on Lake Michigan, wonderful place to visit and have a vacation,” said Jagemann. “I don’t know if they will or not.”

Jagemann also thinks it’s important for everyone to remember, whatever your views, this is more than a trending topic.

“This is a tragic story, and I try to keep reminding myself and my crew, as marketers, we tend to look at things as opportunities. In this case, no,” said Jagemann. “This is a tragedy in a family, two families, maybe three families.”