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New book reveals struggles within Capitol P.D. during 2011 protests

Demonstrators at the Wisconsin State Capitol on June 14, 2011. (Photo credit: Wisconsin Radio Network)
Demonstrators at the Wisconsin State Capitol on June 14, 2011. (Photo credit: Wisconsin Radio Network)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new book reveals that top police officials in the State Capitol sometimes gave opposing orders, as they struggled with thousands of protestors in 2011. 

UW-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling described her view of what happened in a book "A View from the Interior" that's due out next Sunday.  

She was brought in during the early parts of the protests, which happened as the Legislature acted on the law which virtually eliminated collective bargaining by most public employee unions. 

Riseling said at one point, she resisted an order from former Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs to clear the building during a tense moment early on. She said Tubbs later overturned her own order to carry out uncooperative demonstrators who were blocking lawmakers' access to the Assembly chamber. 

Riseling said it could have opened the building to thousands of people who would follow police instructions. 

She said Tubbs -- who left state government soon after the protests -- was occasionally hard to find during the tensions, and he sometimes did not communicate well with other police agencies. But she also noted that Tubbs avoided trouble by conferring with union leaders during the protests.  

Riseling's book raises questions of what police should do when politics get ultra-divisive -- and she's still considering that.

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