Is viewpoint discrimination (and reverse racial discrimination) at work here?
An Open Letter to Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne:
While maintaining that Madison Police had not referred our complaint to you (See part #1), you made several arguments that reveals your inclination to let slide six months of intimidation and harassment against elected officials of the Madison school district and — most egregiously — common, ordinary citizens who dare speak before their elected school board on a matter of governance.
- You observed that the school district now seems poised to renew its contract with MPD for educational resource officers (EROs, aka: cops in schools), so why pursue the matter? That’s like saying the shooting victim survived, so why prosecute? What you seem to dismiss is the on-going intimidation of citizens by a clearly organized and rehearsed campaign of harassment conducted under the auspices of Freedom Inc.
- You criticized the school board for aborting its meeting October 29. You were not present; you did not witness the disruption. We did. The seven members, school Supt. Jennifer Cheatham, and legal counsel Matt Bell may be irredeemably liberal, but they are not stupid people. Having no plan in place to restore order, the school board did the next best thing in order to prevent mayhem. Indeed, one of the four complainants called 911 and police responded, but only after the school board fled into the night.
- You argued that the school board adopted tighter security after October 29, problem solved. That is like saying that because a homeowner installed security devices this morning, he should disregard the burglary the night before.
- You said you sat through the disruption of the Dane County Board in November 2017 and no one was prosecuted. That is because no one filed a complaint. The four of us ARE filing a complaint.
- You appear to regard the activities of Freedom Inc. as a classic civil rights protest modeled after Martin Luther King Jr. It is no such thing. The day after the October 29 disruption, the father of an eight-grade student e-mailed me:“I don’t think anyone that is not of sound physical stature, or backup, should go and speak in light of what I witnessed last night. Please do not use my name, I have three little children I need to protect from this violent mob-like people.” (This father has attached his name to the complaint, however, and is willing to testify.)
- I asked if your expressed reluctance to prosecute amounted to viewpoint discrimination. If older white men had broken up a school board meeting and harassed people of color they would be posting bail.Chief Koval told me on November 27 that MPD kicked the matter up to your office because “I am disinclined to charge someone when there is no likelihood of prosecution.”It is clear that Freedom Inc. has intimidated even Chief Koval. Freedom Inc. has inoculated itself against prosecution by playing the race card, by donning the mantle of victimhood, and by claiming that police are predators. One of its minions summarized this theme this way at the 07-18-18 school board meeting:
“No matter how, whatever stipulations you put on a police officer going into a school, they’re doing to do whatever they want to do and what they are trained to do … which is kill black kids, and harass black kids.”
- Finally, I warned that — in effect — you aint seen nothin’ yet. The mob shut down a school board meeting that was only “receiving” a committee report recommending retention of EROs. Some time in the next six months, the school board will debate and vote on an actual contract with MPD. That is when the rubber will hit the road.
You can forestall further violence
Mr. Ozanne, as I told you in our face-to-face Monday morning, my entire career has centered around respect for the First Amendment right to free political speech, first as a newspaper reporter, then as a spokesman for public officials, including Gov. Thompson, and also as an elected county official. That right to free speech does not include sanctioning the heckler’s veto, physical intimidation, and mob behavior.
I also told you that an acquaintance had offered to enlist The Proud Boys at future school board meetings to counter the Freedom Inc. social justice warriors. Having never heard of this group, I Googled them. Wikipedia describes then as a neo-fascist organization. I told my acquaintance under no circumstances do I want such an organization involved. It is possible that my wishes may not prevail. It is possible that others may conclude that where disruption by some is excused, disruption by others will be tolerated.
Mr. Ozanne: Will you enforce the law? Will you end the harassing tactics and forestall future of local government by charge the ringleader of these disruptions with misdemeanor disorderly conduct?
Will you stand against mob rule in Dane County?
Part #1: Why won’t you prosecute the mob?