State Capitol Policing Overkill
Fear of arrest impairs access
We got a call last week from a 67 year old man who, as a citizen of Wisconsin, wanted to go to the State Capitol at noon to see with his own eyes the daily protest sing-along and what was being done about it. He did not go, for fear of being arrested. And there is something very wrong with that.
It is even more wrong than the arrests themselves, which are wrong even if there is currently some legal justification. And what’s wrong about it is the use still of aggressive, confrontational, military-style policing, and the unnecessarily rough treatment of folks who don’t deserve it. This is 2013 and there are alternative and more appropriate styles of policing.
Thus, it becomes clearer all the time that the Walker Administration forced out Capitol Police Chief Tubbs and replaced him with Chief Erwin because they want that style of policing. Protestors could easily be cited and escorted out without being handcuffed. Observers could be encouraged to move. This just appears more and more like politics rather than public safety and it’s making this state look petty, mean-spirited and stupid. Worse, it’s discouraging citizens from going to their state Capitol.