A giant target on my back would have gotten me in less trouble.

The Mifflin Street Block Party has come and gone, but the backwards policies of the Madison Police Department are still glaringly obvious in the aftermath of the weekend. In the weeks leading up to the party, I circulated a petition asking for the police to back down on their enforcement of noise violations during the daytime hours. The purpose of the petition was to show neighborhood solidarity with regards to the celebrations, and to show that we wanted to be treated with the same level of respect as other well-known city events. The petition, and subsequent meeting with the police and Mayor’s office had no effect on the official definition of “reasonable” noise, proving that the MPD had no interest in working with the neighborhood, but rather dictating to us how they wanted things to go. Long story short, I complained and the police shut me down.

Through this process, I apparently did not make a positive impression on the higher-ups in the police command structure, especially when I called them out on some of their ridiculous policies and procedures. Come the day of Mifflin, my political activism earned me special attention from the police. Here are the tickets that I received:

1 Count Adult allows UAL Consumption (Ordinance 38.04(1)(a)3)
2 Counts Adult Encouraging Underage Consumption (Statute 125.07(1)(c)4)
2 Counts Procuring Alcohol to Underage Person (125.07(1)(a)1)

Total charges:$1800. Now, I am not going to discuss why these charges are ridiculous until after my court date. I will however, mention that inside sources believe that I was intentionally targeted to be made example of for going against the police. I have a wide-reaching public records request that should be able to prove or deny this in the next week or so.

After finals I will further explain my open records request, my findings, and a lot more about Mifflin. I also will be presenting the results of some research into some key players in the Mifflin police debacle. Much more to come…and I promise I will add details next time.

-Tom

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