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Monday, June 24, 2024
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Pro-Palestine protestors push back police from their encampment on May 1, 2024.

Madison Police Department arrests pro-Palestinian demonstrator on probable cause of two felony offenses

The Dane County District Attorney charged a University of Wisconsin-Madison alum with one charge of attempting to disarm a peace officer.

Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Brown was an arts editor at The Daily Cardinal during the 2022-23 academic year. 

Dane County District Attorney (DA) Ismael Ozanne charged University of Wisconsin-Madison alum Jeffrey Brown Wednesday with one count of attempting to disarm a peace officer.  

The charge was in connection with the May 1 police raid on the pro-Palestine encampment organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) on Library Mall.

UW-Madison Police (UWPD) and campus area police arrested 34 people on May 1 and cited four other individuals who are facing possible felony charges. 

The charge is a Class H Felony. After the DA filed charges on May 29, he now could face up to 6 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Brown received a signature bond, allowing him to be released without paying bail as long as he agrees to attend court. As part of the agreement, Brown is banned from Library Mall, a restriction also placed on three of the other four people arrested in connection with the encampment. 

“The state has essentially waited a month to charge Mr. Brown, and he is a UW Student,” his public defender said, referencing Brown’s enrollment in a summer class to argue for the removal of the Library Mall ban from the agreement. 

The preliminary hearing is set for June 13. A judge will hear testimony on if there is enough evidence to believe the defendant committed a felony. If the judge feels there is enough evidence to have the defendant stand trial, the case continues and is bound for trial.

The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The Madison Police Department (MPD) made an arrest Friday evening at roughly 7 p.m. on probable cause of battery or threat to an officer and disarming a peace officer. 

A man pulled an officer to the ground and attempted to disarm her of her wooden baton, MPD spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said in an email to the Cardinal. The officer was wearing apparel that clearly identified her as an officer with MPD, according to Fryer.

This interaction was recorded on city surveillance cameras as well as posted on social media. Detectives later identified the individual as Jeffrey Brown, Fryer said.

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An officer on a routine patrol Friday night noticed Brown driving and pulling into an apartment complex. Police later approached Brown, took him into custody around 7 p.m. and booked him into the Dane County Jail without incident, according to Fryer. Brown was contacted the day prior but refused to talk to police, Fryer said.

Brown was arrested by MPD while taking groceries into his home, according to a spokesperson for SJP.

According to Fryer, Brown was on the phone with his attorney as officers approached and later offered to take milk inside the apartment, with Brown watching their actions, so it wouldn’t spoil. Brown declined this option.

SJP is also under investigation from the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO) into conduct surrounding the pro-Palestine encampment at UW-Madison.

The SJP spokesperson said they have been directing demonstrators to the American Civil Liberties Union’s Know Your Rights page for more information on how to interact with police. 

UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott told the Cardinal Friday morning that “decisions on citations have not been made, but we’re working through them.”

Editor’s Note: The article was last updated on May 29 at 10:25 p.m. to provide updated information on Brown's charges. MPD arrested Brown on probable cause for battery to a law enforcement officer and attempting to disarm a police officer.W 

College News Editor Noe Goldhaber contributed to this article.

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Gabriella Hartlaub

Gabriella Hartlaub is the former arts editor for The Daily Cardinal. She has also written state politics and campus news. She currently is a summer reporting intern with Raleigh News and Observer. Follow her on Twitter at @gabihartlaub.

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