MADISON (WKOW)-- Friends of the man killed by a Madison policeman last November are refusing to give-up their fight to get an independent investigation of what happened.
On Wednesday night, Nathan and Amelia Royko Maurer went back to the Police and Fire Commission to make their point that officer Stephen Heimsness violated police policy when he shot and killed Paul Heenan last November.
The Royko Maurers say the complaint is their only option for obtaining an independent review of the case. Ever since Madison Police Chief Noble Wray and the district attorney exonerated Heimsness of all wrong-doing, the couple has organized petitions, public demonstrations, anything they can think of to get the case heard.
"We want these violations to be reviewed. This is the only way for that to happen," Amelia Royko Maurer says.
Attorneys with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, who represent Heimsness, argue the complaint itself is invalid. Wisconsin statute says a complaint against an officer should be filed by an aggrieved person. Attorneys argue neither roommate qualify as aggrieved.
"The alleged victim himself, his next of kin, the parents of a minor and eyewitnesses of the wrong-doing. Those are the people that case law say are aggrieved persons under the statue," Wisconsin Professional Police Association Attorney Andrew Schauer says.
The Royko Maurers however, argue their complaint is valid and that Nathan Royko Maurer fits the description of an eyewitness.
"He was interviewed that night by police officers. He was in close proximity to what happened that night. He was an eyewitness," attorney Michael Short says.
The Royko Maurers were encouraged by Madison Mayor Paul Soglin to file their complaint with the Police and Fire Commission, but they both feel they're fighting an uphill battle.
If the hearing does move forward attorneys estimated it would take around 30 hours to hear all of the witnesses and experts from both sides in the case. That would likely get spread out over a few weeks since the Police and Fire Commission hold their hearings at night.
They plan to announce their decision during their monthly meeting on Monday.
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