New law requires independent investigations on officer-involved shootings
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin has become the first state in America to force police departments to turn to outside investigators when someone dies in their custody. The new law is the result of several years of work by Michael Bell Sr., a man whose 21-year-old son was killed by Kenosha police while handcuffed in 2004.
Milwaukee's Debra Jenkins has also been pushing for change in how Wisconsin police departments investigate officer-involved deaths. Jenkins started her work after a Milwaukee police investigation found their officer was justified in shooting her unarmed 31-year-old son. "Just knowing that my son was shot seven times and murdered by someone that was to serve and protect us," says Jenkins.
Bell joined Jenkins in advocating for the law after his son was killed about 10 years ago. He says, "Officers are human beings. They make mistakes. They make poor choices, and they do it all the time."
Jenkins tells us the signing of this bill by Governor Scott Walker does not end her work to hold police accountable.
We have reached out to the Milwaukee Police Department for comment, they have not responded by the time this story was posted.