Statement of Common Council President Cavalier Johnson

Over the past few months, protesters have taken to the streets to voice concerns about police misconduct and systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. I commend the protesters who have been demonstrating peacefully for systemic change.

As protesting continues across the country, President Trump’s administration has used tactics against protesters that are simply unacceptable. Most recently, we have seen federal agents ordered to quell protesters in Portland. The presence of these federal authorities has only added tension to the protests that have been occurring and has pinned federal forces against local leaders and authorities. Sending federal agents to intervene in protests across the nation is not only evoking more unrest, but it is truly an un-American act that is stifling citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested that Milwaukee may be a city that is in need of this type of federal law enforcement intervention. The administration is justifying federal law enforcement intervention to ensure communities are safe and federal property remains undamaged. I believe federal agents are completely unnecessary in Milwaukee, and I am are proud of our residents who are standing up to systemic racism and exercising their right to make their voices heard.

If the Trump administration is considering sending federal law enforcement to Milwaukee, I ask that they consult with local elected officials and community leaders who know what is needed in their own communities I fully oppose the idea of federal law enforcement intervening in Milwaukee and believe doing so would only cause a deeper divide and heightened conflict.

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