By Leslie Amsterdam and Nicole Schulte
The recent Wisconsin Capitol crackdown under the leadership of Chief David Erwin has resulted in another round of citations making their way to citizens’ homes via Certified mail. On Friday and Saturday, four more individuals received two citations each for 2.14(2)(k) and (v) bringing the total for September to 20 people and 43 tickets with many more expected. The tickets are the result of a spontaneous event that occurred in the Capitol rotunda on Friday September 14, 2012 after the Solidarity Sing Along finished their noon hour song circle, which was held outside. At least two others received notices for missed Certified mail, so there is an expectation that more participants will receive their pink citation slips.
Greg Gordon, Sue Trace, Karen Kinsley, and Greg Kinsley all received citations in the last 48 hours for an incident that happened on September 14, 2012 when several people began walking in a circle around the rotunda while others read out loud from the Wisconsin State Facilities Access Policy. The ordinance violations are: 2.14(2)(k) Disorderly Conduct and 2.14(2)(v) Obstruct Access, passage etc. (NO-PERMIT). The citations arrived along with a letter from Capitol Police Officer Davis explaining the determination of issuing the tickets. A State Facilities permit application was included as well, presumably because the citations were issued because the participants of the brief spontaneous event did not have a permit for their activities. All in all, up to 18 individuals walked around the rotunda for several minutes. Some spoke out loud or chanted, while others remained silent. Four high school students visiting the Capitol joined in the circle. The entire spontaneous event was over in about 30 minutes.
It is unclear how many more individuals have citations coming. Of the 18 participants of the event, 14 have attended the Solidarity Sing Along. WCMC is not in contact with the four high school students. Four other citations have already been delivered to citizens who were present at the arrest of Dawn Henke, which occurred immediately after the circle in the rotunda dispersed.
Capitol police routinely videotape events and activities at the Capitol and they have stated that their video footage from that day is still under review. The footage is being used to issue citations after the fact to citizens who were inside the Capitol during the events in question. WCMC will update this story as others involved are issued citations.
Watch video of the spontaneous event here: