Milwaukee city leaders move forward on list of banned items near DNC

NOW: Milwaukee city leaders move forward on list of banned items near DNC

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee city leaders are moving forward on a banned items list near the Democratic National Convention. As the scaled-down DNC is approaching next month, members of the Milwaukee Common Council are moving forward on an amended ordinance that prohibits certain items and actions in the surrounding area. 

The ordinance would be in effect from Aug. 15-22, and be for the "soft zone" surrounding of the Wisconsin Center, where the DNC will be held. 

The Department of Public Works Committee approved the ordinance with only one objection from Milwaukee Alderman Russell Stamper. 

This is for the non-credentialed zone from Kilbourn to Cherry, and 10th to Water. The public is allowed in the zone but prohibited items include explosive devices, bats, chains, bike locks, mace and pepper spray. 

Officials say they don't want protests to get out of control so they are banning actions like blocking roads. 

The Milwaukee Police Department will be enforcing the ordinance, but officials say the goal is not to make arrests. Officers will give people the option of giving up the item or leaving with the item. 

Knives were taken off the list because of state law, and gas masks were also taken off because of concerns from members about protester safety.

"I don’t want tear gas to be used on large crowds. I don’t think it should be and I think the Fire and Police Commission working to alter that SOP so the idea that of someone wants a device that won’t harm anyone else and all the device will do is protect a citizen from inappropriate and aggressive behavior from police force. I’m a little uncomfortable making that illegal,” said Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac.

The ordinance will now go to the full common council for a vote. 

The DNC is set for Aug. 17-20 at the Wisconsin Center. 

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