‘It’s critical we not have further violence’: AG Kaul warns against violence at State Capitol ahead of potential protests

MADISON, Wis. – As precautions are being taken at the State Capitol in anticipation of potential protests Sunday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is warning against violence.

The State Capitol currently looks different, with efforts such as boarded windows to keep it from looking like the U.S. Capitol did last Wednesday.

“We need to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and that’s why I’m glad to see law enforcement has taken proactive steps to prepare for this,” Kaul said. “It’s critical we not have further violence.”

Governor Tony Evers has authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support the State Capitol Police as the FBI warns of plans of armed protests.

“Obviously, there have been other times with a lot of protest at the capitol,” Kaul said. “What’s really incredible about the current situation we’re facing is this is being inspired by the president of the U.S.”

Madison police will work with Capitol police, as well, at a unified command post to be able to respond quickly to any potential threats.

Kaul is calling on the president and elected officials to play a role, too, asking them to “use their platforms to discourage people from engaging in that kind of conduct and (be) clear about the underlying premise for it being false: that there was any sort of serious problem with the election. I think that will help out.”

Kaul doesn’t know of any specific threats to the State Capitol, but is mindful of concerns about capitols across the country Sunday through Wednesday.

“I would encourage people to stay away from the Capitol in that period of time given concerns about safety,” he said, asking those who still plan to show up to keep the peace.

“If they’re there to protest peacefully, that’s a right we’ll protect,” Kaul said. “If people are there to engage in violence or destruction, they should expect to be prosecuted … If anyone does commit crimes in the State Capitol, they should absolutely expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The attorney general calls the situation “evolving” and encourages people to follow updates from official sources.