MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on a package of Wisconsin legislation that would crack down on riots (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

The Assembly judiciary committee has approved a package of legislation designed to crack down on riots.

The bills define a riot as a public disturbance during a gathering of at least three people that includes intentional violence or an intentional threat of immediate violence. Participants could be charged with a felony. Anyone who uses a dangerous weapon during a riot also could be charged with a felony. Blocking a thoroughfare during a riot would be a misdemeanor.

The committee approved the Republican bills Thursday despite warnings from the panel’s two Democrats that the language is too broad and could lead to prosecutors charging peaceful prosecutors.

Rep. John Spiros and Sen. Van Wanggaard, both former police officers, introduced the bills in response to riots that followed a police shooting in Milwaukee last year.


9:30 a.m.

A legislative committee is expected to approve a package of bills designed to crack down on riots.

The Assembly judiciary committee is scheduled to vote on the Republican-authored legislation Thursday. Approval would clear the way for a full Assembly vote.

The bills define a riot as a public disturbance during a gathering of at least three people that includes violence or a threat of immediate violence. Participants in such gatherings, including anyone armed, could be charged with a felony. Anyone who blocks a thoroughfare during a riot could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Rep. John Spiros and Sen. Van Wanggaard introduced the bills in response to riots that followed a police shooting in Milwaukee last year.

Critics charge the legislation could result in the arrests of peaceful protesters.