An all too familiar conflict has occurred again. A large fight among many students broke out in the cafeteria of East High School. The fight was recorded on a private cell phone, and it required eight MPD officers plus school security guards to restore order. When it was over, two juvenile students were involved, and two adult (17 year old) students were involved. The good news is that no one was seriously hurt. The bad news is that some "community leaders" held a press conference to criticize MPD for overreacting to an incident before they had all of the facts of the case. Some facts are clear. Authorities are not sure how the incident started. One student, a popular athlete, was arrested for felony child abuse - the student, who is seventeen, was charged and held for assaulting a 16 year old. These things stand out to me: 1) The police were following State Law (a law that Chief Koval wants to change), 2) the "community leaders" publicly criticized MPD before having all the facts, and 3) body worn cameras could have recorded what actually occurred. We need focus on seeking the truth and solving problems, not just casting blame.
Paul Skidmore, 9th district alder
City of Madison, Wisconsin