County Executive Parisi’s Statement Regarding Dangerous Overnight Activities in Downtown Madison

June 24, 2020
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi issued the following statement regarding dangerous overnight activities in downtown Madison:

“What happened overnight in the heart of the City I've grown up and spent my entire life in is absolutely heartbreaking. The misguided actions of a few jeopardized people's safety and well-being. Things have gone too far.

“A firebomb tossed through windows of the City County Building (CCB) landed near Dane County's 911 Center, the lifeline for all of our county's residents in the event of an emergency. The fire inside the building started next to boxes of paper and was extinguished by responding Dane County Sheriff’s deputies. The incident took place near 911 dispatchers and put the well-being of those inside in jeopardy. They evacuated, and our back-up 911 Center had to be activated in the middle of the night to preserve basic services to the county's citizens.

“The recklessness of throwing a firebomb into the CCB could have resulted in a human tragedy. A spreading fire in the City County Building could endanger the lives of dozens of young people in the juvenile corrections center and the 180 inmates of the Dane County Jail who reside in the CCB. Setting fire to the building that houses inmates is not advocating for their well-being.

“Let me be clear: the violence against unarmed African Americans across this nation is absolutely deplorable. All of us must look within ourselves and within our systems and do the hard work needed to bring about change, but setting fire to buildings filled with people will not get us to that place.”