Yesterday the State Assembly voted to approve Assembly Bill 409, which would implement an independent investigation framework for all officer-involved deaths in Wisconsin.

From the press release I received regarding AB409:

Bill authors Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison), brought together families of the deceased as well as representatives of the law enforcement community to write and rewrite the bill until they reached consensus with all parties.

“From a law enforcement perspective, it was important to craft a bill that provided for meaningful investigations of officer-involved deaths while simultaneously ensuring law enforcement can continue to carry out their mission of protecting and serving our communities,” said Bies, a former chief deputy sheriff. “I’m confident this bill accomplishes our goals.”

Additionally, the bill requires the investigation report be turned over to families of the deceased if the District Attorney decides not to prosecute the officer involved. This provision was important to families, to assist their efforts to obtain answers about the death of a loved one.

“Ultimately, we were able to bring all interested parties together on a compromise that could make history, while bringing transparency and independence to the investigation,” said Taylor. “When a shooting happens in your community, everyone wants a fast, fair and impartial investigation. When the unthinkable happens, it is important for families, communities and law enforcement to have faith in the investigation process.”

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3 Responses to Bill requiring independent investigations of officer-involved deaths passes in Assembly

  1. independent guy says:

    Good news. AB409 was in part in response to two innocents in Madison recently.
    One case in particular involved an inebriated fly weight that appeared to be grossly excessive force and was without independent review.

    http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/newly-released-police-records-shed-additional-light-on-paul-heenan/article_315e18ac-82e0-11e2-b277-0019bb2963f4.html

    http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/1-person-dead-after-officer-involved-shooting–220067101.html

  2. Cat Kin says:

    Bottom-line: less local control. Meaning it might get through current WI legislation. In cases where the locals are not respecting human rights, this has been a good thing. But always a double-edged sword, eg: sand mining legislation.

    • independent guy says:

      How is AB409 less local control?
      Madison Police Officers follow protocols that are unchanged. In the event of an officer involved death, now there is an independent review. This dimishes the possiblity of an in house conflict of interest, cover up, etc.
      I guess if this is less local control, it is a good thing in this case.

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