Documents obtained by News 3 Now explain why Madison Police won’t press charges in alleged hate crime incident


MADISON, Wis. — After the Madison Police Department closed its investigation into an alleged hate crime that happened in front of Portillo’s on the city’s east side, News 3 Now filed an open records request to obtain the documents disclosing why MPD did not follow through with criminal charges.

According to the original police report, Madison resident Yisrael Ami told MPD he was sitting in the car with his daughter waiting for his wife to come out of the restaurant when a group of Trump supporters pulled into the parking lot and began yelling racial slurs at them. He stated they got out of their cars at one point but no physical contact was made. Ami eventually drove off after his wife returned.

According to the documents obtained by News 3 Now, Detective Kelly Dougherty subpoenaed surveillance video of the alleged incident from Portillo’s Asset Protection Manager Jeffrey Levitt. According to Dougherty, Levitt sent the video footage of the date and time requested but asked Dougherty that the video not be shared outside of MPD. Dougherty also stated that there was no visible time stamp on the video she reviewed and that there was no way for her to compare the time for accuracy.

Dougherty said the video did not contain any audio but after reviewing what was sent, Dougherty determined, “It did not appear there was a disturbance captured, on camera, in the parking lot. I did not observe any of the subjects captured within the camera view gesture at the red vehicle in any animated type manner or approach the red vehicle in a threatening type manner.”

The documents state that on February 3, Dougherty concluded the investigation and said, “I have been unable to develop probable cause that a crime has been committed in this case.”

Dougherty wrote that if any other information or evidence comes to her attention, she will review it and proceed accordingly.

News 3 Now reached out to Ami for comment after the case was closed but weren’t able to reach him.