I will never forget the day I lost my son at the hands of 4 police officers who betrayed the honor and trust of the badge they wore. Our family’s tragedy was only made worse when the officers were cleared of all wrongdoing, after being investigated by their peers instead of an independent panel. The sworn testimony of each officer directly opposed irrefutable forensic evidence provided by the medical examiner. Still, no fault. As we struggled to understand this miscarriage of justice we discovered we were not alone, many families were denied an independent investigation when their loved ones were taken. We decided that together we could make their deaths mean something.d
Families who have lost loved ones at the hands of officers are coming together across the nation to demand unbiased investigations. Nationwide, officer involved deaths are routinely investigated by their coworkers resulting in an impossible record of perfection. In Wisconsin alone, an "unjustified" ruling by an officer's department or commission cannot be found in 125 years.
The people of Wisconsin have before them a Bill to bring independent review to all officer-involved fatalities in addition to drug testing of all officers involved. An independent review would offer oversight by those are not curently subject to the pressures of a job in law enforcement.
Please help Wisconsin set a much-needed precedent for all states across the nation with AB 409, the Citizens and Law Enforcement Safety Act.
Police depend on community trust in order to succeed at their jobs. Yet an antiquated system allows bad cops to avoid accountability and tarnish the image of all law officers. AB 409 is designed to build and strengthen community trust via transparent review by experienced and independent professionals. If we come together and make AB 409 law, the public will have rock-solid confidence that their police force is being held to uniform and consistent standards and law enforcement will be protected from speculation and suspicion.
The entire bill can be seen on the state website: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/ab409
Please sign this petition to ensure independent and fair investigations for all officer-involved fatalities!
- Attorney General
J.B. Van Hollen
- Senator Richard Gudex
- Senator Leah Vukmir
- Senator Mike Ellis
- Senator Paul Farrow
- Senator Tiffany Thomas
- Senator Luther Olsen
- Senator Mary Lazich
- Senator Neal Kedzie
- Senator Alberta Darling
- Senator Glenn Grothman
- Executive Assistant to the Attorney General
- All Members of the Wisconsin District Attorney's Association
- Director of State Prosecutors of Wisconsin
Philip W. Werner
- All Members of the Police Chiefs Association of Wisconsin
- All Mayors of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Dept. Of Justice Representative for the A.A.G.
Roy R. Korte
- Senator Terry Moulton
- Senator Dale Schultz
- Michael Bell
Families in Wisconsin and across the nation are calling on you to minimize the current, great potential for bias in investigations of officer-involved deaths. They are asking for Wisconsin to lead the way by creating and implementing a board of retired law enforcement professionals and one law professor to review investigations of officer-caused deaths. They are asking you to require sobriety tests for officers as a means of employment. With this, they are asking you to protect the honor of the police profession without forsaking the invaluable lives of civilians.
Please support Wisconsin Representatives Garey Bies (R) and Chris Taylor (D) in their efforts to protect civilians and law officers from biased investigations. Their co-sponsored legislation is titled the “Citizens and Law Enforcement Safety Act”; Assembly Bill 409.
Other leading professions are subject to fully independent, external review: Medicine, Law, Aviation, Accountancy, etc. Law Enforcement should be no different.
The public should have rock solid confidence that their police force is being held to uniform and consistent standards of conduct; and police and district attorneys should not have to work under a cloud of doubt regarding the fairness and impartiality of these investigations.
And finally: If law officers were involved in the death of your family member, wouldn’t you want them tested for any substance that may have affected their decision to take a life? AB 409 includes mandatory blood testing of any officer involved in a fatality.
For an investigation to result in truth and justice recognized by all, it must be reviewed by people who do not stand to gain or lose in the outcome. These people must not be subject to the pressures of their commitment to all law enforcement. They must not be currently employed in law enforcement. That makes sense. And so does this bill.
There is just no reason for honest and sober police officers to fear independent review and sobriety tests and Chiefs ought to be able to bet their jobs on that honesty and sobriety.
Help Wisconsin set a precedent for the nation.
Please support the “Citizens and Law Enforcement Safety Act" Bill #AB 409 now https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/ab409 and ask all members of the Wisconsin Legislature to do the same.
Amelia Royko Maurer for The Michael Bell Team started this petition with a single signature, and won with 76,883 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.