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Madison Juveniles Trash Public Library, How Much More Should We Allow?

March 12, 2019

When age 11 and 12 I was still not sure my shadow was a friend.  I was not the boldest kid on the block. So suffice it to say kicking a male police officer in the groin was about the last thing on my mind of things to do.  So when I read the following I thought back to the days of my youth but really had no way of comparing the two.  None whatsoever.  I did think, while reading the following, that this is precisely why the two main malls in Madison have refused entrance to these types without an adult.

Something among a certain segment of our city has come unglued, un-tethered, removed from common-sense, and normalcy.  The utter disdain and outright hostility for order and respect for authority must be curbed.  However it needs to happen, it must not be allowed to fester and grow.

As I read more today about this most inappropriate behavior I was left stunned.  What was discovered should concern us all.  I might add, though the story does not state directly, but the books that may well have been ripped, or stained with flying juice, are in the library as a result of taxpayer money.  If the ones throwing a tantrum had instead picked up a book and read it they would not now be the scorn of many in this city.  The reason they are viewed with such disdain as individuals has everything to do with the lack of responsibility they have for their lives.

We have produced an entire education system in this city with resources that can be tapped into for support at every turn.  Taxpayers have bent over backwards to make an effort to lift every student.  One need not be rich or live in a good neighborhood to succeed in this city.  And if anyone tries to say differently they are lying.  And their motives need to be discovered.  All that is asked of a student is to find their moral center and stick to it.  Then show up on time and be ready to learn.

I am offended that a library was the scene of what follows. I concede that my love of books, and how as a youth they were avenues to the wide world, still resonates.  That a library is treated shabbily underscores how far removed these young people are from the sensibilities the majority of city residents live by.  That books and education are treated in such a cavalier manner baffles me.  What follows sickens me.

Madison police were called to the Madison Public Library’s Lakeview Branch, 28455 North Sherman Ave., at 4:58 p.m. Monday after a group of loud juveniles refused a librarian’s request to leave the building. 

The librarian later told police some in the group have caused issues several times, over the past week, inside the normally quiet branch. When officers arrived the juveniles, who numbered between 15 and 20, announced they did not have to leave, that they did not have to listen to police, and that police could not touch them. 

Despite protestations, officers spent 10 minutes trying to dialogue with the young people, until trying to escort some out. During the process, one girl kicked over a trash can sending refuse materials across the library floor. 

She then kicked a male officer in the groin who had grabbed her arm. Another juvenile kicked a chair which hit and toppled a bookshelf. 

Throughout the disturbance, young people were yelling and swearing at the officers while several recorded everything on their cell phones. One young person displayed gang signs. Another took off his jacket and postured as if he wanted to fight one of the officers. This child also knocked over a trash can, kicked over a chair, and rifled a half-filled bottle of juice across the library. 

“The crowed outnumbered the police. They were loud and frenzied,” wrote a detective in his report. An officer wrote, in another report, that they were met “with angry belligerence and outright refusal to comply with a lawful command.” 

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