Milwaukee City Attorney won't pursue all curfew citations
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer said protesters issued curfew violations tickets earlier this month may have their tickets dismissed. Milwaukee County Supervisor Ryan Clancy was one of those ticketed June 1 at a protest on the border of Milwaukee and Shorewood.
“The Milwaukee Police Department’s enforcement of that (curfew) policy is absolutely beyond the pale,” said Clancy.
Clancy took video with his cellphone of the protest on the night of May 31st. It shows police in riot gear, protesters shouting and swearing at officers, and various scuffles between the two sides. Police moved people back and at one point a voice was heard shouting, “Get back home, it’s curfew.”
And then the video showed police making arrests, included Clancy.
“I should have never been arrested in the first place,” said Clancy.
Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer said he has 170 curfew citations to review.
“I will not be pursuing prosecution of all actions,” said Spencer.
Instead, he said he will balance protesters’ first amendment rights with the police’s job to restore order. Spencer said he would not issue a mass dismissal of the tickets, but said additional financial penalties aren’t necessary.
“Once a person has been arrested and detained, taken to a station for two hours or eight hours, I think they will have the message,” said Spencer.
Clancy said the city is just trying to cover its mistakes, and said he is considering filing a lawsuit.
“I’m assuming they want my ticket to go away quietly and that’s not going to happen,” said Clancy.
Spencer said he plans to review the tickets in the coming weeks.
A Milwaukee Police spokesperson issued a statement that said:
"The Milwaukee Police Department enforced the city-wide curfew promulgated by Mayor Tom Barrett who proclaimed a state of emergency in the City of Milwaukee on May 30, 2020 through June 1, 2020, due to the looting and riotous behavior that occurred at night. Due to Mayor Barrett’s proclamation, MPD enforced that curfew by issuing citations to individuals who violated that order. The authority to issue citations to enforce that curfew was based upon the legal advice we received from the City Attorney’s Office."