(The Center Square) – More than a dozen Wisconsin Republicans are demanding more protection for the State Capitol.

Fifteen Republican lawmakers signed a letter to Gov. Tony Evers on Friday asking for more police or National Guard troops to stand watch at the statehouse as protests over George Floyd’s death continue.

“We are calling on you to ensure that people have a house free from vandalism and the effects of rioting, a house to visit and conduct business upon its re-opening,” the letter states. “As governor, you have the authority to mobilize plans and people, taking the necessary steps to ensure this does not continue, beginning immediately.”

The Wisconsin Capitol has seen its share of damage from rioters in Madison.

The Republicans included in their letter pictures of damage at the statehouse, including graffiti, paint tossed on the Forward statue, and even a projectile sent through a lawmaker’s office window.

“The individuals taking part in the peaceful protests have EVERY RIGHT to petition their government for relief and present their grievances,” the lawmakers wrote. “They do not have a right to deface public property, destroy memorials, and inflict damage on our State Capitol, a building that belongs to everyone!”

Madison has seen several protests, some of which have become violent.

Riots broke out last week that saw businesses along State Street broken into and looted. The violence later migrated to the Wisconsin Capitol.

Gov. Evers called out the National Guard to protect the statehouse. The Republicans say more is needed.

“We cannot allow the actions of those who wish to incite and foment violence mar what is otherwise a lawful, protected assembly of people.” the letter states.

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.