The Milwaukee Police Department responded to a call that a protest outside of Planned Parenthood in Milwaukee was in violation of Governor Tony Evers’ stay at home order.
At first, the police did not disperse the protesters. However, the police returned a second time with four squad cars and this time threatened to arrest the pro-life protesters unless they dispersed.
When pressed for an explanation, a police sergeant told the protesters that any religious gathering has to be less than ten people and must be indoors.
Evers’ order included the following exception for religious observances:
“Religious facilities, entities, groups, and gatherings, and weddings and funerals, except that any gathering shall include fewer than 10 people in a room or confined space at a time and individuals shall adhere to Social Distancing Requirements as much as possible.”
The exception’s wording would seem to imply that religious gatherings are permitted, and it is only when the gatherings are indoors that they are limited to less than ten people.
Regardless, the incident raises First Amendment questions about Evers’ emergency order to stay home and the enforcement of the order.
You can watch the whole exchange between the officers and the pro-life protesters on a Facebook Live video made by one of the protesters: