Amelia Royko Maurer
Governor Walker: Do NOT Deploy Wisconsin State Troopers to the Dakota Access Pipeline!
We, Wisconsin tax-payers, demand that all State law enforcement officers and equipment deployed to the situation in Morton County North Dakota concerning the protest around the Dakota Access Pipeline remain withdrawn. Documentation shows that the Morton County Sheriffs Department is guilty of several human rights violations including use of excessive force against the water protectors, denying Indigenous People's right to pray, escalating tension through police militarization, unlawful arrests, unlawful practices of apprehension and many claims of police protecting corporate interests, as the pipeline is neither a state, or federal project. It is clear, given the controversy surrounding this situation, that it is not in the best interests of Wisconsin or its citizens to have our law enforcement officers in North Dakota violating treaty agreements, protecting private interests and enabling a dangerous pipeline. Look to Shelby County, AL as but one of many examples of the necessary threat this pipeline poses to all life nearby, down wind and down stream. https://weather.com/news/news/shelby-county-alabama-pipeline-explosion Dakota Access is a private entity trespassing on sacred land that belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux by way of a federal agreement. The only business Wisconsin should have with Dakota Access is eliminating the risk it poses to our waterways and standing up for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The pipeline construction has already desecrated sacred Standing Rock Sioux burial grounds and violated federal treaty agreements. The DAPL is designed to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day along this route and, as pipelines have done and will continue to do, the DAPL has already leaked and poses the great potential to leak more into the Missouri River and cause immeasurable harm to the communities of this nation whose water and livelihood depend on both the Missouri and the Mississippi. You have used Wisconsin taxpayer resources to assault the sacred land of a nation that existed long before Wisconsin was a state, and to protect a private entity that poses a risk to our own irreplaceable sacred waters. We demand that all states resources remain withdrawn. It is not worth putting our officers at risk for investigations of misconduct and it is not worth robbing our own citizens of the resources that have been sent, here at home.
Wisconsin Electeds: Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline NOW!
We the people of Wisconsin are calling on you, our local, state and federal elected officials, to demand that President Barack Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers stop permitting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Already, the pipeline construction has shamefully desecrated sacred Standing Rock Sioux burial grounds and violated federal treaty agreements. And, as pipelines notoriously will do, the DAPL has the great potential to leak into the Missouri River and cause immeasurable harm to the precious lives of this nation whose water and livelihood depends on the river. We must stop being reckless with our natural resources. We must stop violating treaty agreements between the USA and First Nation peoples. We must not just speak but act with integrity, care and respect for human beings! We ask you, our elected officials, to stand with us and demand an end to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction. The DAPL is designed to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day along this route, and it will cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. This construction represents a perpetuation of the brutal colonization of First Nation lands and people that began hundreds of years ago and risks polluting the Missouri river and poisoning the United States citizens who depend on that river to survive. This fight is for a love of people, respect for other’s human rights, the integrity of the agreements we make and the protection of that which keeps us all alive and it can only be successful if we have your voice. Please, tell President Barack Obama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the Dakota Access Pipeline Project is threatening to all life along the Missouri River and to the trust between this nation’s government and its people. They must revoke the permits of Dakota Access and shut the pipeline down. The Standing Rock Sioux have a right to determine the fate of their lands, cultural heritage, and natural resources. We all have the human right to clean, oil-free water. Not one of us can live without it. Respectfully,
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray: Take Officer Stephen Heimsness Off The Streets
When we asked our good friend Paulie Heenan to move in with us and our little daughter, we never expected that he would be killed by a Madison police officer. Paulie was your go-to guy for lending a helping hand or repairing broken stuff: your car, your computer, your heart. That's why we asked him to stay with us when he moved back to Madison after spending 8 years in New York.After a night out scouting bands for his new job at a local recording studio, a friend dropped Paulie off near our house. But it was dark, Paulie had been drinking, and he was new to the neighborhood -- so he didn't realize that he'd mistakenly entered our neighbor's nearly identical unlocked home. The homeowner, Kevin O’Malley, recognized Paulie and started to help him get his bearings. Not knowing what was happening, his wife Megan called the police as a precaution while Kevin guided Paulie home. When the police arrived, the simple misunderstanding turned into a tragic killing. The first officer to respond was Stephen Heimsness, who has a record of using excessive force stretching back to 2001. Paulie may not have known that Heimsness was an officer -- when he arrived on the scene, his police lights were off, he snuck up on the men from half a block away, didn’t verbally identify himself as a police officer, and immediately pointed his gun and began yelling at the men to get on the ground. Kevin O'Malley said he thought it was another neighbor coming to assist or possibly just someone out walking their dog before he heard the officer's shouts and noticed the gun pointed in his direction. Paulie and Heimsness scuffled for a moment before Paulie, realizing that Heimsness was an officer, stepped back with his hands raised according to O’Malley’s account -- and Heimsness shot him three times in the chest. Kevin repeatedly told Heimsness, "He's a neighbor!" but says that the officer did nothing to defuse the situation.The Madison Police Department and Dane County District Attorney -- two groups with obvious conflicts of interest -- investigated the shooting and decided that Heimsness didn't do anything illegal by shooting an unarmed man.But a huge gulf separates what's legal and what's right. Officer Heimsness had extensive training in using non-lethal tactics. Heimsness acknowledges that he had backup on the scene. That backup, Officer Troumbly, says she arrived with a Taser -- not a gun -- drawn seconds before Heimsness opened fire on Paulie. Instead of waiting for his backup, he chose to use deadly force against an innocent, unarmed, confused man.This isn't just a tragedy: it's part of a dangerous pattern with Heimsness. In 2001, he was suspended from the force for shooting out a fleeing suspect’s tires against department policy. And in 2010, the city of Madison paid nearly $30,000 to a man who Heimsness allegedly beat and stomped into a bloody pulp. We don't trust someone with this record of poor judgment to patrol the streets of Madison. Police most effectively keep neighborhoods safe when they have the trust of those they protect. Thanks to Heimsness' reckless actions, that trust has been seriously eroded. Megan O'Malley told one reporter, "I feel terrible I called the police. I wouldn't call them again."If Heimsness’ actions are tolerated, it’s only a matter time before he goes from an anomaly in our police department to a precedent. Please join us in calling on Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, the Madison Police and Fire Commission, and Mayor Paul Soglin to do everything in their power to take Officer Stephen Heimsness off the streets and to review the Madison Police Department's use of force policy and training to ensure that no more people needlessly die at one of their officers' hands.