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Madison Police investigating ‘targeted’ arson at Wisconsin Family Action

No injuries were reported
(Marcus Aarsvold)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 8:31 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Police are continuing to investigate the unknown person who threw a Molotov cocktail and ignited a fire at the Wisconsin Family Action office this morning.

According to MPD, at approximately 6 a.m., the Madison Fire Department received reports of flames in the building at the 2800 block of International Lane.

Madison Fire Department was able to quickly put the fire out. No injuries were reported.

(Marcus Aarsvold)

Upon further investigation, MPD was able to determine that a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the building but did not ignite. They believe a separate fire was started in response.

Graffiti was also found at the scene.

Federal Investigators have been briefed on this incident.

The words “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” were painted on the outside of the building as well as an “A” symbol with the numbers “1312″.

Wisconsin Family Action is an anti-abortion and pro-life organization but president Julaine Appling said she never thought those who oppose their views would take things this far.

”We’ve done nothing to warrant this,” Appling said. “Nothing to warrant a direct threat because of our position on life.”

Appling said she does not feel safe at the office anymore and she’s worried about her pro-life friends as abortion uncertainty continues in Wisconsin and the entire United States.

”That’s not the America I know. That’s not how we respond,” she said. “If we’re truly tolerant than we should be able to share our opinions without threats to people’s safety and security.”

She’s not sure if the organization will move locations or stay at the office campus on the north east side of Madison.

”I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t want to be bullied into a move,” Appling said. “But I have the security of my team. That’s my responsibility. I have to be concerned about that so we’re going to have to take a very very close look at next steps.”

Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement that “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.”

Governor Tony Evers echoed their words, saying, “We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view.”

Senator Ron Johnson called this incident “abhorrent and condemned by all.”

An update on this investigation will be provided at a press conference Monday at 2 p.m.

(Marcus Aarsvold)

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