MILWAUKEE - The ACLU of Wisconsin today called for a decreased law enforcement presence after it was announced last week that Joe Biden would not come to Milwaukee for the Democratic National Convention and the event would be largely held virtually.

“The DNC's presence in Milwaukee has diminished to a small fraction of its originally anticipated size. While some security precautions may remain necessary for the few events in the city, a large, militarized law enforcement presence is unnecessarily provocative and counterproductive, as recent events in Portland have demonstrated,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.  

“Law enforcement has a duty to protect the First Amendment rights of protesters who wish to express themselves at the convention, not to intimidate and chill speech with aggressive tactics and displays of force.  The ACLU of Wisconsin calls on federal law enforcement to reduce its presence and visibility in the city, and on local law enforcement to refrain from using indiscriminate weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray on protesters,” Dupuis said.