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Experts criticize Capitol protest arrests

Published On: Aug 28 2013 09:34:06 AM CDT

Jessica Arp

A group gathered in the rotunda July 24 were asked to disperse by a Capitol police strike team. A sign posted on the first floor by the Wisconsin State Capitol Police declared the event unlawful but did not specify the type of event.

MADISON, Wis. -

Security and law enforcement experts are criticizing Republican Gov. Scott Walker's administration's efforts to arrest protesters in the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda.

Protesters have been gathering in the rotunda almost daily to sing anti-Walker songs. Capitol Police launched a crackdown on them in July for assembling without a permit. Officers have made more than 300 arrests so far. On Monday police for the first time tackled a protester and hauled him away.

University of Wisconsin-Madison law school professor and police procedure expert Michael Scott told the Wisconsin State Journal that officers' tactics are enflaming the situation. U.S. Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Terry Gainer said arresting protesters only makes officers targets.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police, didn't immediately return a message.

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