MPD Says Tape Over Officer's Name Badges At Trump Protest was a Violation of Policy
It was some-but not all. The officers in question put black electrical tape over their name badges while managing protestors outside of Trump's event but Milwaukee police tell us that’s a violation of their policy.
"We were there to make our statement and not to target them. And at no point were we purposefully targeting people. Their safety wasn’t at risk," said Maya Neal, who was at the event and noticed the tape on the officer's uniforms.
She tells us their goal was to be peaceful but you can see in this photo some officers from the Major Incident Response Team still decided to cover up their name badges.
MPD told us “our policy allows officers to replace their name tag with a unique identifying number when they are involved in a protest/demonstration/rally type of deployment."
They say its for the officers safety so no threats are made to the officers.
But Chris Ahmuty, executive director of ACLU Wisconsin says these officers should have known better; but there's a bigger problem.
"We don’t want them becoming scapegoats when there's problem with supervision and policy. Why weren't they pulled aside and told right then and there?" he said.
In a statement, MPD told us “the photos indicated a violation of policy and we have initiated an investigation. Chief Flynn has also directed immediate corrective action be taken to ensure that future violations do not occur.”
Neal hopes changes will be made because she says. she doesn’t want to be scared when exercising her right to free speech again.
"Them covering up their badges was a little intimidating and unnerving. It had me wondering if they would protect us or had plans to be physically aggressive," said Neal.
The Police Union also issued a statement to us saying, "The deployment of Police Officers is the responsibility of Chief Flynn, as is proper equipment outfitting, to include inspection prior to implementation of service. Numeric identifiers covering traditional name tags are utilized for the protection of the officer and his/her family members in specific situations. The MPA supports and mandates proper safetyenhancements for the professionals we represent."