Madison police investigate identities of agitators

Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl told 27 News his department is still trying to figure out who the people are who escalate demonstrations from peaceful to violent.

According to department incident reports, fewer than 20 people have been taken into custody since Saturday night as of Monday evening, but investigators know there are other people who haven't been caught.

"This small group is really intent on using this period that we're all going through as an opportunity to engage in dangerous criminal behavior, to loot, to steal to threaten safety," said Wahl. "And they're actually not spontaneous. There's some planning, some organization to it, some coordination to it."

Wahl added that if people are determined to act violently, it's difficult for police to convince them otherwise.

He said he's heard of agitators coming in from out of town to organize violence and destruction in other cities, but he could not say if the organizers of the Madison-area demonstrations that have escalated are local or from out of town.

Wahl told 27 News officers are getting frustrated, working so hard to keep the peace and seeing things escalate.

To read more go to WKOW:

Photo: WKOW

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