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Brenda Konkel Correctly And Publically Upbraided By Madison Police

July 16, 2016

Former Madison alder and seemingly continuously constipated crank, Brenda Konkel, has allowed her Facebook page to be the source of the most ridiculous and screw-ball thinking and postings when it comes to the Madison Police.    This is not the first time I have called Konkel out for her bad behavior.  On July 1st I took her to task over one of her more outlandish tirades against the police .

The weeks of rants by Konkel and others who use her FB page to embarrass themselves finally crossed a line to the point an assistant police chief rebuked her in a most public way.  On Friday the following email message was sent to the entire city council as well as to Mayor Soglin.  Given Konkel’s desire to stir the pot in such a harmful manner this will not be the last time some one has to set her straight.

Today I was made aware of you posting and commenting on “doctored” photos (attached) of an MPD Officer that had initiated a new program called Craft with a Cop. This is an initiative that was created by an Officer who gives her heart and soul to the children and residents of South Madison every day she comes to work. I have witnessed first-hand how she spends time with the elderly residents and children, breaking down cultural and racial barriers in an effort to build trust with our community. We hear every day from you and others in our community how this type of policing is essential and desperately needed, especially in communities of color. This is exactly what this Officer does every day she puts on her uniform. She does it with a level of  excitement, compassion and unselfishness that is an inspiration to us all. For you to take an innocent photo of this Officer, whether you inserted the text or not, and send it out on your Facebook page in such a hateful, demeaning and insensitive manner, is incomprehensible to me and others here at MPD.

I can tell you that although your actions have deeply hurt this Officer, I know she will continue to carry forth our mission of strong community policing with a heavy emphasis on building relationships with ALL of our citizens, young and old. I have included an “undoctored” photo (below) of Officer Levett with the children in her neighborhood. This IS how we want our Officers to work with our youth.

I am extremely disappointed that you have chosen to publicly use the picture of this hard-working, community oriented Officer in such a negative and unwarranted manner instead of supporting and highlighting this type of positive, relational policing.

Assistant Chief Randy Gaber

When Konkel responded in a huffy manner about why such a public reprimand was made over this matter the words from Gaber must have sailed smoothly from his fingers as they were so gut honest and to the point.

Ms Konkel
I have no desire to go back-and-forth with you on emails about this matter or subject others to have to read further  accounts of what occurred. Whether YOU posted this on your Facebook or not, it IS on YOUR Facebook page. Furthermore, not only did you not take it down but you also commented on it therefore it is yours to own.
In terms of who is copied on this email, when issues pertaining to our Chief or the City of Madison Police Department, I do feel the elected officials of the city have a right to know what is being sent out to the public through a social media page. 
There were more “doctored” pictures on your Facebook page other than just “black lives matter.” I can assure you this was not meant to intimidate anyone. I am only sharing factual information that you have allowed to be posted on your Facebook page.
Thanks to Gaber for bringing this to light so the whole city can better know the intent of Konkel and her kind.
9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2016 9:58 AM

    Amelia did not state the name of the ‘old building’ she seemed to not like or care to save–but many in this city value our past. We have the sense of history about this city we call home. I live in an old-Victorian home (1892) and live history each day. I want my fellow citizens to also share in that pride about our past. And may do! Therefore I have long advocated for making sure the Garver Feed Mill was not allowed to be destroyed. I am glad progress is being made. https://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/garver-feed-mill-in-madison-worthy-of-saving/

  2. July 20, 2016 9:52 AM

    Time to set the record straight, again.

    There is no doubt that using the $400,000 on programs and new ideas to foster stronger families and tighter neighborhoods would go a great deal further than trying to argue why the police department is the source of problems in our community. In fact, our police department is a most competent and conscientious agency. Taxpayers in Madison know we have a professional workforce in spite of those who feverishly try to make us think the opposite.

    Amelia thinks that pulling a large chunk of money out of thin air—and in the middle of a budget year–for some grand proposal–is smart. Since this now seems the way our council operates one has to ask why even go through the Kabuki Theater of a budget process? How about the council just place the entire operating budget into a contingency fund and shower it on the loudest and most dreadful ideas? The first group to close East Washington please step up for your money!

    Mature and reasoned folks need to run this city. We need to stop the rabble who wish to drain our resources for completely fairy tale thinking.

  3. July 20, 2016 12:31 AM

    The ‘we support zero accountability for police’ movement is angry about the $400,000 for the police audit because it really should be going to those who are economically challenged so this is what they’re doing with their concern: They just claimed to have spent close to $2000 on ‘We support Madison Police” yard signs (that a lot of new shoes for kids) and none of them got up tonight to oppose the millions going into restoring an old building on the E. Side that no one really needs. Those with economic challenge can only take money if it comes in $400,000 increments, apparently. $10million just won’t do.

  4. July 18, 2016 9:35 PM

    Thank you Mary!

  5. July 18, 2016 9:08 PM

    Please consider signing this petition to show Officer Levitt that the community supports her! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be an officer right now. We need community leaders to work with our police officers to solve problems, not tear them down!

    https://www.change.org/p/support-madison-police-officer-levitt?recruiter=575814257&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

  6. July 17, 2016 3:39 PM

    Amen, Solly. The whole nation was reminded this morning how dangerous the job of being a law enforcement officer is as we heard the tragic news from Louisiana. I was also listening as Bob Schieffer from CBS News pointed out today where the vast majority of this nation stands on the issue. “Last night, several of us were having dinner down by — by the lake. A group of Cleveland police officers came on bicycles. There were — must have been 50 of them. As they passed by the restaurant, everyone stood up as one and gave them a round of applause. That tells you what’s on people’s minds these days, and — and where this country is these days.”

  7. Solly permalink
    July 17, 2016 12:48 PM

    I hope the assistant chief’s memo speaking truth to wackjobs doesn’t make the council members cry or uncomfortable.

  8. July 17, 2016 10:35 AM

    Bringing the post messages back to the topic at hand, which is the outlandish nature of Brenda Konkel and her overly dramatic ranting, let me state that I hope Brenda is realizing just how antagonizing and divisive some of her postings and comments are concerning the Madison police, and hopefully can mature her behavior online.

  9. bbead permalink
    July 17, 2016 12:55 AM

    Amelia Royko Mauer’s email to Gaber:

    Dear Assistant Chief Gaber,
    Yesterday, I was made aware of the fact that an MPD manager gave approval for MPD Officer Matt Kenny to be sent, on a horse, to a community center where Andrea Irwin’s children play. It is cruel to post the killer of their son/brother/grandson/friend at an event they’d likely attend as if their trauma and loss don’t matter.
    And you have the gall to shame Brenda Konkel about something someone else posted on her Facebook page? You don’t police the radical bigots who pop up on MPPOA and WPPA’s pages. Or on MPD’s page. You don’t even police the bigots in your own department.
    Brenda houses the homeless. Brenda creates more opportunities, prevents more crimes of poverty and harm to those in financial hardship in a year than you have in the entirety of your career. Show some respect.
    But since you brought it up…
    Officer Amelia is probably a very nice person and I’m guessing her intention is authentic and good. She looks happy in the photograph you shared which is great. Her concept drew some comic relief (Knitting with a Firefighter. Caning with a City Attorney…) but also harsh scrutiny because MPD has chosen an adversarial relationship with their critics. That, and the concept of kicking back with civilians while on duty is a big problem and for the 50th time, here’s why:
    An officer in uniform is required to police anyone in their presence. When they are in uniform, they do not trust the public – they are actively policing. Being policed is never comfortable for people in general let alone most People of Color. Adding crafts or basketball to the mix doesn’t change that. Officers’ still must enforce the law where ever they see or imagine it’s needed.
    People keep saying this but apparently, not the right people. Specifically, People of Color keep saying this but apparently, not the right People of Color. You don’t listen to those most traumatized by police in this city but you instead back them into a corner, shame and alienate them as an abuser would their victim.
    That is exactly how you’ve treated YGB and Freedom Inc.
    That is how the Heenans and Irwins were treated by MPD Leadership.
    That is how Genele Laird was treated.
    That is how Chief Koval treated Sharon Irwin and council members.
    That is how you treat the victims of OIFs.
    While I can fully understand why you would hate the photos someone posted to Brenda’s thread, it’s not like that person found out who the Officer Amelia’s worst nightmare was and sent him/her on a horse to the library for craft time.
    MPD Leadership sent Tony Robinson’s killer on a horse to the community center where Tony’s sister spends time in a neighborhood near Tony’s grandmother’s home. Own that disgusting, reckless, insensitive, divisive behavior, for once.
    This is what an adversarial relationship looks like and it is the relationship you have chosen. We have asked to work together. You can’t take criticism so you choose to be an adversary and so it goes.
    Officer Amelia and the resources that have her in the Library making crafts would be better spent training officers on de-escalation. They’d be better spend weeding out the bigots on MPD who still say things like “we don’t run away like little girls” when asked why they don’t retreat instead of kill people.
    You want genuine trust? Get rid of the bigots and the warriors. They can grow up somewhere else. If an officer cannot understand why a child of the New Jim Crow is angry with law enforcement and demands change, they don’t have the history, the skin, the competence, intellect or compassion for the job. Stop hiring them and no crafts needed. Again, listen to those most impacted by police interactions. Here is what they have said:
    If officers are to get to know the public and build trust through games, cookouts and crafts they should do so by engaging off the job, with their families, without the gun and badge. They are being asked to live amongst the people they serve. What do you all do? What does Koval do? The opposite. He sets a terrible example for his officers. For instance:
    He doesn’t live among the people he serves.
    You don’t either.
    He threatens people who disagree with him, including elected officials.
    He calls people names who ask questions he doesn’t like.
    He screams at people who present stats he doesn’t like.
    He compared a group of Black leaders in our city to children.
    He doesn’t care about the rules that govern his position.
    He doesn’t listen to his executive staff.
    He doesn’t listen to his critics.
    Neither do you.
    He listens to those parroting what he’s already saying.
    He sent Matt Kenny on a horse to the community center where Andrea Irwin’s kids play and near where her mother lives.
    So did you.
    He lied about whether or not it’s possible to have a higher deadly force standard in his dept. than that set by the state and SCOTUS
    He lies about how OIFs are truly investigated.
    He lies about why officers shoot center mass instead of a leg.
    He lies about MPD already doing everything re: deadly force recommended by PERF and the Pres. Task Force.
    He mocks compassion.
    He would not sit with loved ones involved in OIFs to hear how their experiences were when their loved one’s cases were being investigated by MPD
    He won’t come to near-East side community centers as he does with all others when we have had the majority of OIFs in the past 12 years.
    He has a captain who, while using an alias, harassed a Black community leader on facebook.
    You’ve got your hands full, Sir.
    MPD leadership continues to lash out and then play a victim, waste time and energy launching flimsy PR campaigns against this community’s strongest humanitarians while you remain 100% averse to acknowledging your own errors. As long as you continue to with this charade and only address surface issues with the public, the adversarial relationship you have with some in the public will continue to grow as will your number of adversaries.
    An obvious choice is before you.

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