MADISON (WKOW) – Due to recent officer-involved shootings in the Madison area and elsewhere, some lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday to create statewide standards for investigating deaths involving police officers.
State Representatives Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) and Chris Taylor (D-Madison) want to require a 2 to 3 member team to investigate officer-involved deaths, with only one member of that team coming from the law enforcement agency in question.
The findings of that team's investigation would be turned over to the newly created Board for the Review of Officer-Involved Deaths. That board would review the report to make sure all aspects of the investigation were properly handled and may submit recommendations to the local district attorney, who would still have the final say on whether an officer would face any criminal charges.
The bill would end the longstanding practice of allowing police and sheriff's departments to investigate themselves in such cases.
But Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen (R-Wisconsin) has already voiced opposition to the bill, calling it unnecessary. Van Hollen says local district attorneys already provide an independent review of such cases.
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