RNC demands Secret Service chief move protests farther away from Milwaukee convention site

The RNC recommended the Secret Service places a park that's one block south and one block east of the convention center into the security perimeter, and marks Zeidler Union Square as the official protest zone.

Published: May 23, 2024 4:43pm

The Republican National Committee requested on Thursday that Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle make sure that a planned protest zone is moved farther away from the convention site this summer. 

Republican officials with the RNC and Congress have urged the Secret Service to expand the security perimeter outside the convention center, in order to limit the dangers of a violent protest. The protest zones at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago will be miles away from the convention site.  

Todd Steggerda, the RNC's counsel, sent Cheatle a letter that highlighted the need to expand the perimeter, and limit the interactions between high-profile officials and lawmakers with protesters.

“With less than two months before the Convention and even less time before the USSS finalizes the Plan, it is imperative you take personal and immediate steps to fix this unacceptable flaw in the design of the Security Perimeter,” Steggerda wrote in the letter, obtained by NBC News. "The criticality of the situation demands that you immediately provide the appropriate mandate and delegated authority to your team to adjust the Security Perimeter to alleviate these risks."

The letter comes after a suspicious package was delivered to the RNC headquarters earlier this week, and after a man set himself on fire outside of former President Donald Trump's New York trial. 

A map that details the Secret Service's security perimeter has not been released so far, but officials who have seen the map claim the protest zone falls outside of the perimeters. However, there are still concerns that regular convention attendees would be forced to enter and exit near the protesters. 

“Your failure to act now to prevent these unnecessary and certain risks will imperil tens of thousands of Convention attendees, inexcusably forcing them into close proximity to the currently planned First Amendment Zone,” Steggerda wrote. “Inevitably, this Plan will heighten—rather than obviate or diffuse—tensions and confrontation, creating an increased and untenable risk of violence.

"This rapidly deteriorating security environment and the severe consequences to the public underscore the exigency of your personal leadership and action to solve this problem.”

Steggerda recommended that the Secret Service include a park one block south and one block east of the convention center in the security perimeter, and mark Zeidler Union Square as the official protest zone. The square is located approximately three quarters of a mile south of the convention site. 

The convention will take place from July 15-18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News