UPDATE: Folks, we did it! Early this morning (11-14-17) Ald. Skidmore’s Amendment for 15 more police officers succeeded. The Kemble Krew’s attempt to zero out police failed. Body camera pilot defeated. We’ll get you the roll calls soon.
The Madison Common Council likely will vote tonight on next year’s budget. Of specific concern here at the Stately Manor is Ald. Skidmore’s amendment to add $400,000 to the $350,000 proposed by Mayor Soglin as the city’s match of a federal grant to add more police. Co-signers are Alders Verveer, McKinney, King, Ahrens, Clear, and Phair.
That amendment is countered by Alders Kemble, Rummel, Baldeh, Hall, and Carter to zero out any match whatsoever, thereby scuttling any chance for more police.
Public testimony begins at 5:30 this aft. You get 5 minutes. If you can’t make it, watch live on Charter Spectrum Channel 994, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 or at the City of Madison website. Do consult the Support Our Police website.
A rough draft of the Squire’s intended remarks:
We will hear tonight from the Usual Suspects, the Royko-Mauers and Dr. Gobbledygook and the racial arsonists from Freedom Incorporated and Young and Misguided. They will not be satisfied until every last police officer is fired and replaced with open-ended block grants to the feel-good boondoggle of their choice.
You will hear testimony tonight that will spin statistics to say we have enough police — or, even, too many.
The issue here is credibility — credibility with the Voters of Madison who have witnessed for the past 2½ years your outright hostility toward the Madison Police and its chief — interspersed with damnable silence. In the meantime, Madison so far this year has suffered record homicides — most of them black on black crime. Shootings are up 75%. Children being walked by their mothers to their first day of school are finding empty shell casings on the sidewalk. Parents digging out bullets lodged just above their baby’s beds.
For the past 2½ years, you have entertained the most irresponsible voices, nodded and clucked sympathetically while they portrayed our police officers as trigger-happy racists. Out-of-control Klansmen persecuting innocent civilians. A foreign invasion force occupying otherwise peaceful black neighborhoods. With nary a dissenting word.
The president of this Council proposed an official, citywide day of honor for a convicted felon and chronic drug abuser, prone to violence, who attacked a Madison police officer summoned to interrupt his spree of random assaults on innocent civilians.
In June 2016 a young woman who kicked, bit, scratched and spit while resisting arrest after threatening mall employees — one of them a 71-year-old woman — with a big old butterfly knife. Eleven of you signed a public statement denouncing what you called — QUOTE — “excessive aggression.”
You condemned “the power imbalance” of police sent to respond! As if an arrest must be run according to WIAA wrestling standards, one-on-one within weight divisions.
One year ago, 19 of you threw $400,000 at a Berkley California policy boutique to search for evidence of racism — even as the Department of Justice under AG Loretta Lynch specifically praised the Madison Police Department for its racial outreach.
Now, some alders propose the City go in the opposite direction; that it remove even the $350,000 match, which would mean No More Police. Their cover story is they want to wait until the OIR completes its report. That is a transparent dodge.
It did not stop the Council from forming a parallel committee of alders to study MPD policies and procedures and issue its findings well before OIR’s report. Which it did without inviting a single neighborhood watch group.
You permitted Chief Koval twist in the wind on trivial charges for calling a raging lunatic “a raging lunatic.” Even threatened to deny him recompense for defending himself against those spurious charges.
The hard truth is this City Government has been Scapegoating the Police
for the Racial Disparity in Criminal Conduct.
In July 2016 when BLM affiliates closed down major traffic thoroughfares during workday rush hours, blocked East Wilson Street, and tied up East Washington Avenue, rerouting an amulance at the intersection of John Nolen Drive and Rimrock Road — what was this Council’s reaction? Silent approval.
Whether spoken or unspoken, through deed or lack of same, this city’s elected officials have used their bully pulpits to send a corrosive message to a vulnerable population: that police are the problem and troublemakers are the victims.
Some of us have been saying this for years so I quote a usually timid source who, like most Madisonians, fears the Race Card more than a visit from Donald Trump. That would be State Journal columnist — Chris Rickert in WI State Journal 10-29-17:
“Madison policy-makers might find they can help reduce police shootings if they spend more time urging their constituents to follow existing rules than by trying to force police to change theirs.”
The only way you can redeem any credibility is by voting for more police in the budget before you. It would be a welcome fire bell in the night, to borrow Thomas Jefferson’s term, heard loudly by every citizen and, especially, by perpetrator and victim alike. After 2½ years in Wonderland, this Council Supports the Police — and the safety of its city’s law-abiding citizens — after all.