Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10, also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” (it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions) was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs .’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough.
I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”
She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”
They wouldn’t let her speak to a lawyer. She looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off.
The neighbors started to come outside, curious at the commotion, and all the while the police searched her house, making a mess, and — according to Cindy — leaving her “dead mother’s belongings strewn across the basement floor in a most disrespectful way.” Then they left, carrying with them only a cellphone and a laptop.
Another similar story, as related by ‘Anne’ who said she also heard heavy continuous pounding on her door in the early morning hours. She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos.
“People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.”
Armed Wisconsin policemen swarmed into her house and plainclothes investigators cornered her and her now awakened & frightened family. The state officials began seizing the family’s personal property, including each person’s computer and smartphone, filled with the most intimate family information.
They were taunted like perps and instructed not to tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends.
Another incident happened at ‘Rachel’s’ house. It was the same loud knocking then a swarm of cops entered her house. She wasn’t even allowed to go wake her children – the cops did it and in the process scared the daylights out of them.
Then the entire family was herded into one room, where they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer.
Again they were instructed not to tell anyone including their attorney. Rachel said she knew a rogue prosecutor was targeting her for her political beliefs.
The National Review goes on to say:
For dozens of conservatives, the years since Scott Walker’s first election as governor of Wisconsin transformed the state into a place where conservatives have faced early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping.
This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.
Tune in tomorrow to learn more about the John Doe investigations and to find out how & when these raids originated. We’ll also address what’s being done to challenge them.