I don’t like this. Although protesting outside someone’s house is tacky and mean, as long as they remain on public property like the sidewalk/street, then government shouldn’t be interfering. Of course, the police should enforce the law if they block the street, trespass, etc., but otherwise, public property is just that.
GERMANTOWN — The village’s Public Safety Committee has approved a new ordinance for Germantown to prohibit picketing residential properties, which will go forward to the Village Board for final approval and implementation.
The new ordinance states “No person shall engage in picketing before or about the residence or dwelling of any individual,” and specified further that the ordinance did not prohibit lawful picketing in a labor dispute or bar meeting or assembly in places commonly used for public discussion. The ordinance applies only to residential locations.
The ordinance the committee approved declared “the protection and preservation of the home is the keystone of democratic government,” and noted “That the practice of picketing before or about residences and dwellings causes emotional disturbance and distress to the occupants, obstructs and interferes with the free use of public sidewalks and public ways of travel and such practice has as its object the harassing of such occupants.”
“This particular ordinance came after some recent activities in the village,” Germantown Village Attorney Brian Sajdak said during the Public Safety Committee meeting. The recent event was a protest held outside a residence in Germantown on Aug. 7. Germantown Police Chief Mike Snow said the road was blocked off by the picketers.
“We estimated the crowd to be over 100 people,” Snow said. “They blocked off the street. They actually set up a band in the roadway.”
According to several social media posts, the Aug. 7 protest in Germantown was outside the home of the Wauwatosa police chief, and the picketers were there about a matter in the Wauwatosa Police Department, regarding a black man who was shot and killed at Mayfair Mall by a Wauwatosa officer who is also black.