The diversion of police resources to keep the peace at the 2011 Capitol Chaos impacted communities across the state, but perhaps nowhere was that impact felt as significantly as the City of Madison.
The Capitol protests in Madison during February and March 2011 were pre-precursor to the Occupy Wall Street Protests, and they were not peaceful. At times, protesters stormed the building through windows. One protester attempted to remove the exterior door hinges. Thousands stormed the building, camped out for weeks and often harassed the lawmakers and staff that worked in the building.
The disruptive nature of the Capitol Occupation required round-the-clock police presence from personnel from more than 200 local and state law enforcement agencies. More than $8 million was spent for crowd control and protective detail for those who worked in the building. That diversion of personnel had a ripple effect through communities across Wisconsin, as officers who normally would be on the job at home had to spend time attempting to keep the peace at the State Capitol.
In this video, a Madison Police Detective testifies in court, under oath, that his diversion to the Capitol prevented him from questioning two subjects identified by the victim of an armed home invasion, which he had begun to investigate prior to the Capitol Occupation.
The suspects are now currently in the Dane County Jail, awaiting trial for a different crime–a murder they are alleged to have committed several months after the robbery. It was a robbery for which they were implicated by others, but about which they were never questioned by police.
MacIver News Service’s Bill Osmulski reports from the Dane County Courthouse in Madison.