MADISON — At the request of the City of Madison, Gov. Tony Evers today authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support the Madison community’s response to agitators that have disrupted peaceful protests following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Pursuant to Section 321.39(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the governor has ordered into state active duty members of the Wisconsin National Guard necessary to support local law enforcement in Dane County, beginning immediately. Any members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community. The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or interfere with the media’s ability to report on these activities.
Gov. Evers released the following statement:
“It is critical that people are able to peacefully and safely express their anger and frustration about systemic racism and injustice. Last night in Madison, we unfortunately saw a few bad actors commit acts of vandalism and violence that put people at risk. It was very clear those who were peacefully protesting were also taking great efforts to deescalate the instigators, at times subjecting themselves to violent outbursts.
“This limited authorization of citizen soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard will help protect people who are exercising their First Amendment rights and ensure the safety of the public.”