Protect Families and Honest Police: Demand Fair Investigations of Police
  • Petitioned J.B. Van Hollen

This petition was delivered to:

Attorney General
J.B. Van Hollen
Executive Assistant to the Attorney General
Mark Rinehart
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
Senator Glenn Grothman
Senator Alberta Darling
Senator Richard Gudex
Senator Leah Vukmir
Senator Mike Ellis
Senator Paul Farrow
Senator Tiffany Thomas
Senator Luther Olsen
Senator Mary Lazich
Senator Neal Kedzie
Michael Bell

Protect Families and Honest Police: Demand Fair Investigations of Police

    1. Petition by

      Michael Bell Team : Plea for a Change

  1.  
  2.   
April 2014

Victory

From Petition Creator: We did it! Wisconsin passed AB409 into law yesterday. Thanks to your help, officers involved in fatalities will now be investigated by someone from a department outside of their own.

Wisconsin’s largest newspaper covers part of the story here. http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/gov-scott-walker-expected-to-sign-police-custody-bill-b99253819z1-256342301.html

Please pass it along and if you live outside of Wisconsin, please forward it to your state’s legislators.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. AB409 Passes Into Law

      Gov. Scott Walker signs police custody deaths bill

      For nearly 10 years, Michael Bell has waged a campaign for greater accountability when police use lethal force. He has spent more than $1 million on billboards, newspaper advertisements and a website, all of them asking some variation of this question: When police kill, should they judge themselves? Gov.

    2. The Capital Times Endorses AB409

      The right reform for investigations of in-custody deaths

      One of the rare hopeful developments in a legislative session that might charitably be referred to as "disastrous" has been the bipartisan push to require independent investigations of deaths in police custody. Historically, Wisconsin police departments have been permitted to respond to in-custody deaths with internal investigations.

    3. AB409 Gets Unanimous Support - Passes Through State Assembly

      Assembly passes bill on police in-custody deaths probes

      Madison - The state Assembly voted Tuesday night to end the long-standing practice of allowing police agencies to investigate their own officers when people die in custody. The bill passed on a voice vote and goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.

    4. Wisconsin’s Largest Newspaper Endorses AB409 AGAIN

      In-custody death bill deserves approval by Assembly

      Our View | In-Custody Deaths This one should be easy for the state Assembly: Approve a bill that would provide additional accountability and strengthen public confidence in investigations of those who die in police custody. The Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday.

    5. Time Sensitive: Please contact your WI State Legislators, right now.

      It is critical that we all write or call our state legislators, right now, and ask them to vote “yes” on Wisconsin AB-409, a bill that would require external investigators for all officer-involved deaths.

      Find your WI state legislator’s here.
      http://legis.wisconsin.gov/pages/waml.aspx

      Thank you for standing with us in our fight for competent and unbiased investigations of officer-involved fatalities in Wisconsin!

    6. Q&A with Michael Bell and Bill Guida in the Kenosha News

      Bell: As a military officer, I had so much confidence in whatever the United States military did that it was almost beyond my imagination to think that an investigation was going to go down any other way. It was beyond my imagination. And it took me a while to have my assurances shattered.

      http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/qa_with_michael_m_bell_475445497.html

    7. AB-409 Is Gaining Support

      A bill seeking reform of officer-involved shooting investigations may soon have the largest Wisconsin law enforcement associations on board, possibly setting the table for a state Assembly vote as early as next week.

      http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/police_reform_bill_could_gain_law_enforcement_support_475433382.html

    8. 129 Years. No Officers Wrong in Wisconsin

      "Its amazing the number of poor choices made by Wisconsin Police Officers, yet in 129 years, the system has never found an officer making a poor choice in taking someone's life.” - Plea for a Change

      http://www.wjfw.com/stories.html?sku=20120711191952&display=video

      Please, get one friend to sign today. The time is critical.
      http://www.change.org/ab409

      Thank you so much!

      WJFW TV-12, WJFWDT 12.1 and Newswatch 12 - Stories

      WJFW TV-12, WJFWDT 12.1 and Newswatch 12 - Your Northwoods News Leader and NBC Affiliate in Rhinelander Wisconsin.

    9. One Chief, One Detective, One Captain

      At least one former chief, detective and captain are among us and they are asking for change. They agree that investigations of officer-caused deaths must be done by officers who are as objectively impartial as possible, that there must be a review of the investigation done by those who are not under pressure to protect their own.

      Read and share what they have to say about the changes that must occur in policing today:

      David Couper, Former Chief of Police, City of Madison, WI
      http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/building-community-trust/
      Chief Maples, Former Captain, City of Madison, WI
      http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/cheri-maples-training-must-be-balanced-to-reflect-cop-s/article_0ee3afc2-7542-11e2-9695-0019bb2963f4.html
      Russel Beckman, Former Detective, City of Kenosha, WI
      http://www.reddit.com/r/police/comments/1v4d4x/cop_risks_everything_calls_for_oversight_of_police/

      Building Community Trust

      In my recent testimony regarding proposed legislation in my state that would require outside review of police shootings I said: "A chief of police has two important and sometimes conflicting responsibilities - his or her own officers and members of the community.

    10. Reached 75,000 signatures
    11. We Made It Through the 1st Vote!

      One small part of Wisconsin Assembly Bill 409 made it through the 1st of 3 critical votes. Legislators want it. The WI Chief’s Association does not.

      Yesterday morning, the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice voted to pass a stripped down version of the bill. We will keep fighting until all three components are passed but for now, just one has made it through to the Senate floor. Now, it’s up to the state senators to sponsor the bill and keep it moving.

      Please, email a Wisconsin state senator now http://legis.wisconsin.gov/Pages/Waml.aspx and ask them to RESTORE Assembly Bill 409 back to it’s original version and to vote YES to protect civilians and law enforcement against biased investigations! Please copy us to your email and we will make sure the senator’s get them: plea4change@aol.com

      READ AND SHARE THIS CHIEF'S TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF THE ORIGINAL AB409
      http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/building-community-trust/

    12. 70,000 of Us Say, More Oversight for Police!

      We’re willing to bet there are at minimum, 70,000 more supporters out there who agree, to truly protect civilians and the honor of the police profession, our legislators must ensure honest and fair investigations of police officers. The time is now!

      PLEASE, GET 3 FRIENDS TO SIGN THIS PETITION RIGHT NOW! THANK YOU!

      http://www.change.org/ab409

      Protect Wisconsin Families and Honest Police: Support Fair Investigations

      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...

    13. We’ve reached 60,000! Watch This Interview with Michael Bell!

      Michael Bell was interviewed on WISN this week. As we are seeing time and time again in Wisconsin, when civilians lose loved ones to law enforcement, no matter how wrong the officer appeared in their actions or how crooked the investigation seemed, police departments and D.A.s always clear the officer of any wrong doing, no matter what color the deceased is or how much money their family has. Michael makes the point that, if a white man with money is unable to get results, what is happening to the people with out money who cannot hire an attorney, or those of color who are most often the victims of excessive force?
      Please share this interview with everyone you know. It’s time civilians and law enforcement start subscribing to the same versions of “truth” and “justice”.

      http://www.wisn.com/politics/upfront/Kenosha-man-pushes-for-change-in-law-on-custody-deaths/-/10057538/23772336/-/aqq97yz/-/index.html

      Kenosha man pushes for change in law on custody deaths

      Michael Bell, whose son died in police custody, is working for a change in state law to require outside, independent reviews of officer-involved deaths.

    14. Your Effort Made National News

      Wis. man seeks police reform after his son's death

      A Wisconsin father bent on changing police procedures after an officer killed his son is waging a public battle to affect how such deaths are handled across the state. A Wisconsin father bent on changing police procedures after an officer killed his son is waging a public battle to change how such deaths are handled across the country.

    15. 50,000 for AB409 - honest investigations of police officers!

      Change in the institution of law enforcement is difficult however, 50,000 of us are willing to bet it isn't as difficult as losing a child and being barred, ridiculed and threatened for seeking an unbiased investigation and review of the death of that child.

      What kind of parent wouldn't want all stones turned?

      What kind of leader would keep a parent from that information?

      Anyone who claims unbiased investigations and sobriety tests make the tough job of officers even tougher should consider this: An intoxicated or mentally unsound or dishonest officer makes a tough job, deadly.

      Nothing chips away at the honor of the police profession than negligent oversight. AB409 would protect the honor of the police profession in an honest way.

      Please help us continue to get this petition before people. AB409 makes sense.

      Thank you so much and Happy New Year!

      The Michael Bell Team

    16. Reached 50,000 signatures
    17. Ready... Set... GO WISCONSIN!

      If everyone who has signed this petition gets one WISCONSIN friend to sign, we will reach our goal of 50,000 signatures and send an even louder message to our legislators that we want officer-involved fatalities investigated and reviewed by people who have no stake in the outcome.

      Please, can you recruit just one person who lives in Wisconsin, right now?

      Ready... Set... GO!

      http://www.change.org/ab409

      Thank you so much!

      Protect Wisconsin Families and Honest Police: Support Fair Investigations

      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...

    18. Reached 40,000 signatures
    19. Ready... Set... GO!

      If everyone who has signed this petition gets one friend to sign, we will reach our goal of 50,000 signatures. Please, can you recruit just one person, right now?

      Ready... Set... GO!

      http://www.change.org/ab409

      Thank you so much!

      Protect Wisconsin Families and Honest Police: Support Fair Investigations

      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...

    20. Powerful testimonies in favor of oversight of law enforcement

      Last Thursday, 4 families with children who were killed by Wisconsin police made history by joining former and current law enforcement and community members at a public hearing before the Wisconsin Criminal Justice committee for Assembly Bill 409, a law that would require an independent review of all police-involved deaths as well as sobriety and drug tests for all officers involved.

      It is indisputably evident that there are no credible, common sense arguments to be heard against external oversight and sobriety tests for law enforcement and it outlined that there is nothing more civilians or honest cops can give in this compromise.

      The full hearing starts at 34min. Michael Bell has the first testimony.
      http://www.wiseye.org/videoplayer/vp.html?sid=10916

    21. Reached 25,000 signatures
    22. Get a friend in Wisconsin to sign!

      We’ve reached 9000! Great job!

      Please, share this link with all of your friends and family members who live in Wisconsin, let them know how important it is to sign this petition.
      http://www.change.org/ab409

      This Bill will cut down on the death toll innocent people, including children, in our state and eventually, around the country. It will cause officers to use lesser means of force with non-deadly suspects.

      Thank you so much!

      The Michael Bell Team

      Protect Families and Honest Police: Support Fair Investigations

      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...

    23. Reached 9,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Patti Mackenzie ELKHORN, WI
      • 2 months ago

      Because my biological father's only uncle through the marriage of his mother to a county deputy covered for my biological father no matter what he did over the course of 'my' lifetime of which included my being a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome (3/1960), my being forced to endure an illegal heinous saline induced abortion at my being more than six months of pregnancy (Oct. 1976) and nine years later my biological father's murdering of the father of my child. All of which he's evaded justice for and continues too.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • jim nikola NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ
      • 2 months ago

      Because police commit just as much crime as the people they arrest.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cyndel Sorenson AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO
      • 3 months ago

      I was born and raised in Kenosha and knew Mike....what happened sickens me to this day and laws need to be changed to prevent this from happening again!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • isela santana BAKERSFIELD, CA
      • 3 months ago

      they shouldn't miss use their badge

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Stephanie Holt FRIENDSHIP, TN
      • 3 months ago

      Too many innocent citizens are being killed by the police. There is excuse is we made a mistake. Well you take bring back a life you took.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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