Chief Mike Koval says officer-involved shootings are emotionally - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Chief Mike Koval says officer-involved shootings are emotionally taxing for his department

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MADISON (WKOW) – Chief Mike Koval said Madison Police are not permitted to release any additional information regarding Sunday morning's officer-involved shooting on the city's far east side.

The shooting is being investigated by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation in compliance with a new, state law requiring officer-involved deaths be investigated by outside agencies.

DCI is doing all the due diligence they can before they submit their findings to the District Attorney's office,” Koval said.

The Chief added he supports the new law.

I think the public appreciates the fact that another agency is doing an outside, oversight role of our product,” Koval said. “There's no sense of collusion or any kind of professional courtesy.”

Madison police shot and killed 26-year old Ashley DiPiazza Sunday morning. They said DiPiazza was in possession of a gun and not cooperating with officers after they were called to her apartment just before 1:30 a.m.

It was the second fatal, officer-involved shooting involving Madison Police this month. Police shot 33-year old Londrell Johnson after they say he stabbed three people, two of whom died, on May 3.

Koval, who was named Madison's police chief in April, said the shootings have taken an “emotional toll” on the officers involved and his entire department.

Everybody's sort of living vicariously through these officers' emotions,” the Chief said. “Of course our hearts go out to the victims of these tragic incidents, as well.”

At the end of the day, you don't want to have any officer-involved shootings,” the Chief said. “But having them in such a short window, back-to-back as they were, has us reeling.”

In an interview Monday, Koval reiterated that deadly force by police officers is only permitted in the rarest of circumstances.

Our policy reflects the law and the law is our policy,” Koval said. “So from that standpoint it's very clear that unless there's an imminent threat of death or great, bodily harm to an officer or another person, it's not deadly force.”

He also said his officers made the right call by entering DiPiazza's apartment building. DiPiazza's boyfriend called police to report she had threatened him and picked up a gun. He fled the apartment. But Koval said others remained in danger.

There were contiguous above and beyond apartments and so, to some extent, we have to ensure the safety of those other residents, as well,” Koval said. “We at least have to contain that threat, the person with the gun, to ensure that person doesn't go mobile on us and escape from the scene.”

The officers involved in both of this month's shootings are on paid leave pending the results of investigations by the DCI. That's standard, police department protocol.
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