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Wauwatosa police will begin enforcing ordinances limiting protests from noon to 8 p.m.

McBride says police will begin enforcing 'all Wauwatosa ordinances'
Wauwatosa Police
Posted at 4:46 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 06:54:14-04

WAUWATOSA, Wis. -- Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride said Thursday his police department will begin enforcing "all Wauwatosa ordinances" when it comes to protests, including a restriction that would limit protesters to the hours of 12 to 8 p.m.

In a news release, McBride said that while the U.S. constitution guarantees the right to protest, some recent protest activity has "violated Wauwatosa ordinance and state laws."

"When violations have occurred, the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) has made arrests and issued citations, but, exercising forbearance, it has not enforced City ordinances in full measure," McBride said. "From this point forward, however, to ensure that protests remain peaceful and within the bounds of the law, all Wauwatosa ordinances will be enforced."

McBride said those ordinances include the following:

· Discharging fireworks without a permit from the Wauwatosa Common Council
· Protesting on private property (residence or business) without the owner’s permission
· Picketing at private residences
· Trespassing inside private businesses
· Obstructing or blocking traffic
· Failure to disperse an unlawful assembly (as defined by § 947.06 of the Wisconsin Statutes: three or more people, when there is a reasonable belief that injury or damage will occur)

Those who violate these ordinances could be arrested and fined up to $5,000, McBride said.

In addition, McBride said protests would only be allowed between 12 and 8 p.m., described as a "time, place, and manner" restriction that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on in the past.

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"Whether or not a permit is required, protests will only be allowed between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Failure to comply with these “time, place, and manner” restrictions could result in arrests or the issuance of legal citations," McBride said.

The news comes after a protest last weekend outside suspended officer Joseph Mensah's girlfriend's home.

Mensah claims protesters surrounded the home and began to vandalize it, with one firing a shotgun round into the back door.

State Rep. David Bowen, who was at the protest, disputes Mensah's claims, saying the officer was the one to instigate violence.

The Wauwatosa Police Department says they have not yet released all evidence in the case.

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