Tears for fears?
Across the nation, “Defund the Police” may have lost more value than Bitcoin but progressives in Madison WI are still trying to handcuff the police. ACAB, doncha know!
The city Public Safety Review Committee voted 4 to 1 Wednesday 08-10-22 to recommend banning the use of tear gas and pepper spray by police. The ban would be intended to cover responding law enforcement agencies giving mutual aid, thereby removing yet another non-lethal tool from the police officer’s belt. The proposed ordinance is sponsored by Ald. Juliana Bennett (UW Campus, Progressive Dane), It goes to the Common Council on 09-06-22. It reads:
Creating Section 5.17 of the Madison General Ordinances to prohibit the Madison Police Department and law enforcement responding under mutual aid from using tear gas, mace, impact projectile devices or other chemical agent for the purposes of crowd control.
Voting with Bennett in support of the ban were Ald. Brian Benford, Aisha Moe, and Brenda Konkel (Progressive Dane). Only Vincent Cha, a new member of the committee, voted against. Co-chairs Johnnie Milton and Matthew Giesfeldt were absent.
The committee found a fellow named Greg Geboski persuasive. On the street for one of the 2020 riots, Geboski described tear gas as being unpleasant. “I got it right in my face. I was with a number of other people. … within a couple feet where the tear gas was let off. … From what was described, they were near a looted building. There was a crowd, an angry crowd … The police just let off tear gas.”
The Public Safety Review Committee found Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes less persuasive.
“I do not support this resolution.” Neither, the chief related, do the County Sheriff’s Association and the WI Professional Police Officers Association. Chief Barnes continued:
“We are at a very crucial point in American policing. There are harmful effects of tear gas … but sometimes those harmful effects have to be weighed against the greater good. [The propossed ordinance] will gravely effect our ability to provide safety. This resolution will alienate our police department from other law enforcement partners when we need them the most. …
“This ordinance … is regressivel it is not progressive. … We ask a lot of our law enforcement community … We’re not Portland or Seattle or any other city.”
Even if the City of Madison bans tear gas, candidate for county sheriff Anthony Hamilton said the ordinance would not bind the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, which is mandated by statute to “suppress all affrays, routs, riots, unlawful assemblies, and insurrections.” The sheriff, Hamilton added in written testimony, “has the constitutional authority to determine how to carry out those duties throughout the entire county.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Wonder what tune city leaders would sing if it had been Proud Boys and Oath Keepers busting up State Street and Capitol Square instead of Antifa and BLM.