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District 8

Alder Juliana Bennett

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Alder Juliana Bennett

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Bennett’s Blog

Call to Action to Support the Prohibiting MPD from using Indiscriminate Weapons for Crowd Control

September 11, 2022 1:53 PM

Call to Action to Support the Prohibiting MPD from using Indiscriminate Weapons for Crowd Control


The Madison Police Department (MPD) exposed the people of Madison to the pervasive effects of chemical munitions, during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The use of chemical munitions, including tear gas (CS spray) and pepper spray (OC spray) outraged crowds and fostered increasing hostility toward MPD. The MPD Sentinel Event Report of 2021 even noted that, "Deploying chemical munitions can escalate anger in a crowd – particularly when (as it appeared to the Stakeholder Group) those munitions are deployed somewhat indiscriminately and not targeted to actively aggressive behavior" pg. 69. MPD's liberal use of such harmful weapons in recent times obligates us community members and elected leaders to examine and identify solutions to using chemical munitions. 

MPD Indiscriminately Spraying Protestors
MPD Indiscriminately Spraying Protestors on State Street (2020)

Hence, I have introduced an ordinance change to ban the use of chemical munitions and indiscriminate weapons for the purposes of crowd control. These weapons include, but are not limited to: CS spray (tear gas), OC spray (pepper spray), and impact projectiles (ie. 40mm sponge rounds, small beanbags, pepper balls, foam baton rounds, stingball grenades, etc.). The ordinance change will be debated at Madison Common Council Tuesday September 20th.

I call upon all of you to support the ban on these heinous indiscriminate weapons.

Please share your experience with these weapons/support for the ban using this link (all records can be kept private if desired). Register in Support of this item and speak in person or virtually on the September 20th meeting. Please email, call, do whatever you need to do to contact your alders and share your support for this ban!!!

Plumes of Tear Gas Wafting Across State St (2020)
Plumes of Tear Gas Wafting Up State St (2020)

Finally, I will say that getting this ordinance change passed may be a bit of an uphill battle for some of my colleagues. Thus, amendments may have to be made. Some amendments include: an exception for the use of such weapons "when urgent and imminent physical harm is threatened" and/or "when significant property damage exists and escalation of damage is threatened"; and ?any use of such weapons must be thoroughly reviewed and reported to the Public Safety Review Committee. Please share your thoughts on these possible amendments, using the aforementioned link. 

Evening Protest were MPD Indiscriminately Exposed Folx to Chemical Munitions (2020)
Evening Protest were MPD Indiscriminately Exposed Folx to Chemical Munitions (2020) 


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