The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police Department responded appropriately when officers used pepper spray to end a student-organized protest in March, according to a report released Thursday by a panel appointed to review the incident.
Panel members also said UW-Milwaukee's Police Department should have taken several steps in preparation for such a protest. Officers had no incident action plan, and they didn't have any barricades at Chapman Hall, the site of the protest, members said in their review. Officers lacked other equipment that they should have in the event of nfl throwback jerseys a protest, such as larger canisters of pepper spray, flexible handcuffs, headgear and police batons.
Police radios also had problems during the incident and a bullhorn didn't work, according to the report. Problems also surfaced with planning and coordination of help from other police agencies.
"The university does take these recommendations very seriously," UW-Milwaukee spokesman Tom Luljak said. "We plan on moving forward and acting on all of these recommendations."
The university released a report conducted by four law enforcement experts from outside the university who were asked to review actions taken by UW-Milwaukee's Police Department.
The review panel was appointed by Christy Brown, UW-Milwaukee's vice chancellor of finance and administrative affairs. Panel members were UW-Madison Police Chief Sue Riseling, UW-Whitewater Police Chief Matt Kiederlen, South Milwaukee Police Chief Ann Wellens and UW System Senior Legal Counsel Paige Reed.
Chris Ahmuty, executive director of nfl jerseys wholesale the ACLU of Wisconsin, said he was disappointed in the way Brown characterized the summary of the report.
"It really appears to place all of the blame on the students while the executive summary really pointed out some deficiencies in what the police did," Ahmuty said. As an example, Ahmuty said, a working bullhorn would have made it more likely that protesters could have heard instructions from officers.
Ahmuty had not received a copy of the full report when interviewed Thursday afternoon. He also said the university missed the opportunity to spell out what types of protests or other free speech UW-Milwaukee deems appropriate.
"It was a little disappointing in that the cover memo didn't really mention if the First Amendment had a place on campus," he said.
Brown wrote in a memo dated Aug. 23 that she had received the report in June and had ordered the UW-Milwaukee Police Department to act on all of the recommendations.
Sixteen people were detained and 15 were arrested during the nfl jerseys wholesale March 4 rally, which was organized with rallies at colleges nationwide criticizing the rising cost of higher education.
A student group involved in organizing the protest did not return a message.