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Protesters arrived at Wauwatosa mayor's home in defiance of city ordinance, mayor says

Posted at 11:49 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 18:33:51-04

WAUWATOSA — The mayor of Wauwatosa says protesters arrived at his house after midnight in defiance of the city's ordinance and stayed until about 2 a.m.

"It was not peaceful," Mayor Dennis McBride said. "It was not compliant with the law and it was intended to obviously thumb their noses at my statement."

On Thursday, Mayor McBride said under city ordinances, protests aren't allowed after 8 p.m. and the police would start enforcing these rules more heavily.

The city's ordinances also prohibit protests from being on private property or residences, and can't block traffic.

McBride says protesters showed up at his home around 12:30 a.m. and threw toilet paper into the trees on his property. TMJ-4 News spoke to two neighbors off-camera who say, they slept through the night and were not disturbed.

McBride says the ordinances do not violate anyone's first amendment rights.

"You're not allowed to protest at people's houses at 12:30 in the morning," McBride said. "That is not reasonable. The Supreme Court supports me in that. Come over to my house at 12:30 in the afternoon and don't disobey picketing ordinaces, that's a different thing. Time, place and manner."

ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ott released the following statement in response to the Mayor's request to more strictly enforce ordinances:

McBride says he does support the protesters, but they have to follow the rules.

"I say it’s a very bright line. Protest peacefully and no one will bother you. Break the law, and you’ll pay the consequences. You’ll suffer the consequences of that. What am I supposed to do? Ignore violations of law? No. There are rules for everything," said McBride. "No one was deprived of their right to protest, no one. They just have to follow the law and do it within reasonable hours so people aren't deprived of their sleep and aren't afraid of what's going on in their neighborhoods at 2:00 in the morning."

Mcbride says no arrests or citations were given last night.

But the police department was able to identify some protesters and citations will be given. Fines can go up to $5,000 for violators.

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