Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal articles, as well as a story from WISN. (Looks to be primarily about the return trip the next day, the computer at work is missing it's flash player for some reason...)
A more in depth play by play from WCI on the OC Forum.
Madison PD internal newsletter from 2004 showing the officers should have known they were in the wrong (right side, first page, 3/4s down about...)-
However, Wisconsin law currently does not allow officers to arrest citizens simply for failing to identify themselves.
Also a press release from ICarry.org:
ICarry.org - Sept 20, 2010 Breaking News Release: Lessons from Wisconsin's Last Incident of Police Harassment of Citizens Lawfully Carrying Firearms in the Open(note: date should be Saturday, September 18th)
On Saturday, September 19th, a group of five responsible firearms owners gathered to share company and conversation at Culvers on Town Blvd in Madison, Wisconsin. Approximately eight Madison police officers approached the firearms owners who were enjoying food and discussion with one another.
Demanding identification of the gun owners, officers used intimidation and coercion in attempts to force the citizens to provide ID. State law does not allow officers to demand ID in circumstances like this, and Madison PD’s very own “legal updates” explains exactly why refusing to provide ID is not “obstructing.”
Despite this well-known aspect of law, at least two of the law-abiding firearms owners were arrested and cited with “obstructing” charges for not providing ID. All of the citizens were harassed in public, intimidated and coerced, and inconvenienced and humiliated by the disrespectful, diminishing, and suppressive behavior of Madison police officers.
ICarry.org would first like to thank Wisconsin Carry, Inc. for its steadfast resolve to protect citizens’ rights in Wisconsin. ICarry.org is committed to supporting Wisconsin Carry, Inc. and all responsible firearms owners in the state.
The vast majority of officers are well-trained to respect the rights of citizens openly carrying firearms. Over the past few years in Wisconsin, a great deal of education has been provided for police, and police throughout the state have been exhibiting exemplary performance. There have been only a select few isolated incidents of failure of training or behavioral problems with police.
ICarry.org would like to see this incident be the last. It’s time to accept and embrace the lawful practice of open carry. There is no need to discriminate or profile against open carriers – they should be afforded the same level of dignity and respect as all other peaceful citizens. Like police officers, they too carry a sidearm only for self-protection.
Photo from the incident (from the OC Forum)
Audio from the event here or here.
Rumor is that a 60+ year old woman, possibly a customer, called them in saying something to the extent of "I don't know if it's legal or not, but there's a bunch of guys with guns, and I would just hate to have not called if something bad were to happen."
Not a big deal really, however, as has happened several times in the past, the dispatcher has not simply told the caller that it is legal, and maybe had a squad drive past, but instead dispatched officers, who then unlawfully detained and charged individuals. Poor practice by MPD.
From how it all sounds, WCI's got a cut and dry case, with plenty to back it up. I'm glad I'm a member.