Madison, Wisconsin Resolution

WHEREAS the City of Madison recognizes the Constitution of the United States of America to be the supreme law of the land, superceding all administrative rules, local ordinances, state statutes and federal laws; and   
WHEREAS the City of Madison has a long and proud tradition of upholding the free exercise and enjoyment of the inalienable rights granted to all persons by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS the City of Madison greatly benefits from the many contributions of its highly diverse population, which includes citizens from around the world, and is vital to our city's unique character; and

WHEREAS the City of Madison affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of the people of Madison, the United States and the World; and

WHEREAS certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act expand the authority of the federal government to detain and investigate citizens and non-citizens and engage in electronic surveillance of citizens and non-citizens and threatens civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS the City of Madison recognizes that infringement of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of any person, under the color of law, is an abuse of power, a breach of the public trust, a misappropriation of public resources, a violation of civil rights and is beyond the scope of governmental authority; and

WHEREAS the City of Madison is firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all people.  It is the policy of the City of Madison to completely avoid discrimination in every function of city government, and vigorously uphold the constitutionally protected rights of all persons to peacefully protest and express their political views without undue governmental interference; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of the City of Madison Police Department to ensure equal protection of the laws and to require that members of the Department shall not act in such a manner as to deprive any members of the community of the equal protection of the laws and, further, shall not evidence bias in the performance of their duties; and

WHEREAS, the City of Madison Police Department recognizes and values the diversity of the community it serves, it is the Department's policy that its officers shall not arrest or detain any person solely for a suspected violation of immigration laws, except pursuant to a lawful request; and

WHEREAS, the City of Madison Police Department policies recognize that a well-informed public is essential to the existence of a democratic nation; and that the Chief of Police as custodian of Police Department records has the duty to maintain and dispose of such records in accordance with the Open Records Law and with due regard for the privacy and reputational interests of the subject of the record; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Council reaffirms that it is the policy of the City of Madison Police Department not to engage in random profiling based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion or political values, including the collection and review of library lending and research records, as well as book and video store sales and/or rental records; and to that end Police Chief Williams has gone on record that the Madison Police Department will not engage in random interviews of any person solely based on their country of origin, race, religion, sex or any other characteristics unless there is specific evidence linked to that person for an illegal act.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Madison joins communities across the nation in expressing concern that the USA Patriot Act threatens civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Madison reaffirms its policy to not engage in random profiling based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion or political values; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Madison Police Department continue its outreach and information programs to educate the community about its community policing polices and principles; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be presented to the Governor and Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin, the President, Attorney General, and Congress of the United States of America, and to call upon our congressional representatives to actively work to repeal those sections of the USA Patriot Act which threaten civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution.

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