MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) says it will sue the city of Madison over a race quota policy for its Police Civilian Oversight Board.
As reported by ABC27, they announced the move this week in a news release that said the city is on notice that an ordinance and resolution creating the new Police Civilian Oversight Board imposes “unconstitutional racial quotas.”
WILL represents seven Madison residents challenging Madison’s decision to require nine members of the eleven-member Police Civilian Oversight Board to belong to specific racial groups – a clear violation of the Constitution’s ban on racial discrimination.
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, calls the decision to implement race quotas as a step back for the city.
“While it may represent the current zeitgeist, the City of Madison’s decision to insert racial quotas and classifications into law violates the Constitution’s ban on racial discrimination and equal protection before the law. The City of Madison may think they are advancing racial progress, but this policy is, in effect, cloaking deeply regressive policies of racial discrimination,” Esenberg said.
NEW: WILL Warns @CityofMadison of Lawsuit Over Unconstitutional Racial Discrimination
— WILL (@WILawLiberty) January 13, 2021
In the fall of 2020, the Police Civilian Oversight Board was formed in an effort to create goodwill between the Madison Police Department and the community.
The Civilian Oversight Board’s purpose is to provide a body that is independent from the Madison Police Department, authorized to hire and supervise an Independent Police Monitor, and required to work collaboratively with the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the community to review and make recommendations regarding use of force, hiring, training, community relations, complaint processes and other policies and activities.
City of Madison
In Madison General Ordinance 5.20, the city voted for a “diverse composition” of the group. At first, they voted to require four members of the board to belong to the following racial groups: “African American,” “Asian,” “Latinx,” and “Native American.”
According to the news release, Madison Common Council later added another racial quota requiring at least 50 percent Black members.
Indeed, it is ironic. that a civilian review board that presumably is looking for law enforcement to be fair and equitable can’t even be fair and equitable among themselves.
Choosing anyone based on their race is the epitome of what racism is all about. law enforcement certainly can’t do it and it is a crime in Wisconsin to do so.
Civilian Review Boards have long been all talk and very little action and a quick look at the departments that have had them for decades would reveal some of the most dangerous and corrupt cities in America including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle but that does not mean they don’t have a place in American Law Enforcement.
They just don’t have a place when they themselves are racist.