Common Council passes ordinance on tear gas use for MPD
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Madison’s Common Council passed the second substitute on an ordinance governing the use of tear gas and other chemicals used for crowd control Tuesday night. The ordinance changed earlier in the day ahead of the meeting from prohibiting the use of tear gas to requiring more oversight.
The second substitute of the ordinance requires an after-action report by an independent police monitor following the use of tear gas. The report would come within 30 days of using the chemical, and the monitor’s findings would be shared with the Common Council and the Police Civilian Oversight Board. Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes says he encourages transparency but hopes to find the appropriate oversight.
“We’re always in favor of transparency; however, with something as sensitive as this from the comments we’ve just heard, we want to make sure that number one, it is an appropriate review,” said Chief Barnes.
Leading up to the meeting, Alder for District 8 Juliana Bennett worked with Chief Barnes on a compromise to pass the ordinance. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association and Badger State Sheriff’s Association both wrote letters against prohibiting such methods for crowd control before the Tuesday night meeting.
“We had a conversation regarding the tear gas ban, and it’s my understanding that the ban had been taken out of the ordinance,” said Chief Barnes at the meeting.
The vote passed by a 14-4 margin.
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