MILWAUKEE - Following President Trump’s announcement that he plans to send federal agents to Milwaukee and other midwestern cities, ACLU of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ott issued this statement:

“Federal forces in Portland have operated so violently and recklessly that local authorities have demanded their removal. This lawlessness we saw from federal agents in Portland was inexcusable and unconstitutional.

“Against that deeply problematic backdrop, plans to send similar forces to Milwaukee make no sense. We don’t need a repeat of this failed, chaotic approach in Wisconsin.

“When officers move through a neighborhood in armored vehicles, meeting peaceful protesters with rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets and other munitions, they intensify tensions when their job is to diffuse them. Our streets are not warzones, and protesters are not enemy combatants—yet too often we see communities, particularly those where Black and brown people live, treated as if they were.

“The President’s plan poses a serious risk of causing further violence and harm. We hope that other Wisconsin residents and elected officials will join us in saying: stay away.”