Regional
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Van Hollen: No Need to Change How Deaths in Police Custody are Investigated

Two lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday, calling for an independent review of fatal officer-involved shootings and deaths in police custody.

Republican Rep. Garey Bies of Sister Bay and Democratic Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison say their bill would create a statewide process for reviewing the deaths.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has come out against a new bipartisan bill.

The lawmakers say several police departments use investigators from their own agency. Their bill would require that at least two of the three people conducting an investigation are from an outside group.

Bies and Taylor say their bill was prompted by several high-profile cases. Derek Williams died in custody of Milwaukee police two years ago, while struggling to breathe. Two men were shot to death by police in Madison and Kenosha.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen opposes the bill. He says the bill is “unnecessary, unworkable, and an expansion of government’s already too burdensome bureaucracy.” Van Hollen says there’s no proof that the current investigatory process has failed.