Proposed bill would alter investigations into officer-involved s - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Proposed bill would alter investigations into officer-involved shootings


Madison, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- The local police union is less than thrilled about a bill that cleared the state assembly's criminal justice committee Thursday.

Assembly Bill 409 would mandate that all officer-involved shootings, except for those occurring in the city of Milwaukee, be investigated by authorities from a county other than where the shooting occurred.

Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) is one of the bill's authors.

"When you're investigating somebody you might be working with or have worked with in the past, you might have a personal relationship with that person," Taylor said.

"Who could be non-biased in a situation like that?" Taylor said.

Taylor also said she would support the proposal being expanded to include Milwaukee.

Committee members Thursday voted in favor of exempting Milwaukee because the city was deemed to have a more rigorous review process than the one called for in the bill.

But Dan Frei, the President of the Madison Professional Police Officers Association, said he's not in favor of the proposal.

"If it were to move forward as written, I don't think many people would support that," Frei said by phone.

Frei said he's not opposed to the concept of making police reviews of officer-involved shootings more independent. But he said mandating investigators come from other counties brings a host of "logistical issues."

Frei said the time it takes for the out of town investigators to arrive at a shooting scene would mean witnesses are left with longer waits to talk to police. He also said evidence at the scene could begin eroding if left unattended for long periods of time.

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