Evers blasts police reform task force

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Governor Tony Evers blasted a special task force which issued new recommendations for police reform Wednesday, April 21.

The governor said the ideas could have been voted on months ago.

Legislative Republicans set up the bipartisan task force to come up with recommendations.

But the governor said their findings matched bills put forward by Democrats earlier this year.

"It is a start to what I'm looking for and I hope that we can win by diplomacy," said Task Force Member Rebecca Burrell.

The People's Revolution spent Earth Day picking up trash, drawing attention to environmental racism. They're frustrated with the pace of police reform in Wisconsin.

"We have urgent issues in our community and we need urgent solutions," said Burrell.

Governor Tony Evers echoed that concern, criticizing a bipartisan task force on police accountability Thursday.

"My frustration is this all could have been taken care of a long time ago," said Evers.

He said the recommendations match what Democrats have already put forward.

"Do I find anything distasteful, what they recommended, heck no, but we already have bills in place, we could have those on the floor in the Legislature tomorrow if they wanted it," said Evers.

That set off Republican State Representative Jim Steineke who co-chairs the task force.

"For the governor to say this is just completely out of bounds and he owes an apology to every member of that task force," said Steineke.

He said the task force worked hard to tackle difficult issues. He said that's the only way to get meaningful change.

"How do you criticize a process like that that is bringing people together to find common ground and come up with solutions?" asked Steineke.

But Burrell said much more needs to be done.

"While we do have 17 recommendations, it's the bare minimum, we could have did more," said Burrell.

Steineke said the Legislature will likely debate the recommendations in May with potential votes in June.

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