More than 100 police agencies are withdrawing from agreements to send personnel to bolster security at next month’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, in part because they’re concerned about a recent directive ordering police in the city to stop using tear gas against rioters.
A citizen oversight commission last week directed Milwaukee’s police chief to publicly account for why the department used tear gas during riots in late May and early June and to change Milwaukee’s police policies to ban the use of tear gas and pepper spray. The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission said in its order that Police Chief Alfonso Morales could be fired if he fails to comply.
Since the Milwaukee order was issued, more than 100 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin and across the country decided against coming to Milwaukee, Morales told WTMJ-TV on Tuesday. They were concerned with directives placed on the police department, including not allowing tear gas or pepper spray, he said.
The original plan was to have 1,000 officers on hand from outside agencies to assist with security. Morales told the Washington Times that utilizing the National Guard or enlisting federal assistance was under consideration.
The convention, scheduled for Aug. 17-Aug. 20, has been scaled down to a mostly virtual event.