Mahoney said he believes law enforcement and public safety is being jeopardized by the restrictions.
"I am confident having talked with our staff on the Capitol grounds that we still have a peaceful demonstration. But it's crucial that individuals have a voice and access to their lawmakers," Mahoney said.
The deputies had been told that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. yesterday, but that didn't happen and the officers didn't find out why until the afternoon, Mahoney said.
"When asked to stand guard at the doors that duty was turned over to the Wisconsin State Patrol because our deputies would not stand and be palace guards," Mahoney said. "I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards."
Reminds me of a line from the West Wing: Mr. President, in the event of a coup what makes you think the Secret Service will be on your side?
The behavior of the cops over the past couple of weeks really has been extraordinary. Not just the state and Madison-area police; cops have come from all over either to pitch in with extra work guarding the Capitol or to take part in the protests themselves as supporters. And before Monday, they were mostly standing there either taking pictures, posing for pictures, waving to little kids at the ongoing DemocracyFest, or generally behaving like all of this was no big deal.
Which is important. The message that conveyed to protesters was that they didn't have to be pissed at the cops, they didn't have to yell or try to exceed the limits the cops set. People generally do what is expected of them, and everything in law enforcement's demeanor said, "We expect there to be no trouble and for you to keep having a good time while doing your thing." They weren't tense, so nobody else was either. Then came Monday, and yesterday, and this:
People are still being calm, but now they have to set limits that aren't reasonable, and wall people off from where people know they have a legal right to be, and good on Dave Mahoney for pointing out how much that sucks. For the officers, and everybody else.