At the Capitol, proposed legislation would toughen penalties for participation in a riot. Senate author, Senator Van Waangard (R-Racine) cited the 2020 riots in Kenosha as a reason the bill is needed.
“Molotov cocktails were incorporated into buildings that were destroyed and lives that were destroyed,’ Waangard said. “And there was no definition of what a riot is to go back and go after those individuals.”
McFarland Police Chief Aaron Chapin is a former UW Madison officer, who said a tougher statute could have helped deal with past unrest at the Mifflin Street Block Party in Madison.
“What was overwhelmingly very peaceful gatherings, so not even a protest or demonstration, but gatherings of large amounts of people with some very bad actors that came in with the intent to cause destruction and to create havoc.”
The bill from Waangard and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield) had an initial public hearing on Thursday. The lawmakers stressed the measure is not written to penalize people involved in peaceful protests.