Madison Police investigate ‘arson and vandalism’ at office of pro-life organization

pro-life organization target of arson, vandalism
pro-life organization target of arson, vandalism(WKOW)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Madison Police are investigating what they believe was targeted arson and vandalism on the city’s north side.

It happened at the office of Family Action Wisconsin, which is a non-profit that supports anti-abortion measures.

Police say they believe someone threw a molotov cocktail into the office window Sunday morning, but it didn’t ignite. However, police say it appears someone started a separate fire in response.

Video shows a good deal of graffiti on the building, one message reads “if abortions aren’t safe, you aren’t either.”

Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action, said they receive their fair share of hateful speech in the past, but she never anticipated something like this would happen. She said they’ve been left shaken, scared, and unsure of what will happen next.

I think what affected me more than what I saw on here was what I saw out there on the graffiti, because that is an overt threat. That to me, is worthy of police investigation. I don’t know are they done? Do you suppose they’re done? Or do they have more things planned for us?” said Appling.

Police: pro-life organization in Madison target of arson, vandalism
Police: pro-life organization in Madison target of arson, vandalism(WKOW)

Appling said her office is one of the only anti-abortion organizations in Madison and they’re worried the violence against them may continue.

Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes released a statement saying “our department has and continues to support people being able to speak freely and openly about their beliefs. But we feel that any acts of violence -- including the destruction of property -- do not aid in any cause.”

Chief Barnes said his department is working with federal investigators and the Madison Fire Department as they continue to investigate.

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