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Man raises questions regarding justified cop-involved fatal shootings


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin has had a number of incidents lately in which police officers shot suspects.

And new questions are being raised about who should investigate those officers, to determine whether the shootings are justified.

Michael Bell, whose son was killed by a Kenosha police officer 8 years ago, wants the attorney general to appoint a statewide review panel which could recommend findings to local district attorneys.

Bell says he’s been searching to find a police shooting in Wisconsin that was ruled unjustified – and he says there’s not been a single one out there.

State Assembly Republican Dean Kaufert of Neenah says there has not been a public clamor for more uniform statewide reviews of police shootings. He said the elected DA’s already provide a good measure of public accountability through the inquest procedure.

Wherever there’s a police shooting, Bell has sponsored billboards to point out his concern with the police reviews.

His latest billboard went up in Appleton, after an officer shot and killed a man outside his home last month. Appleton called on the nearby Green Bay Police Department to investigate the officer’s shooting, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Police forces throughout the state investigate in various ways. In larger cities, police use their internal affairs divisions – which otherwise have no contact with officers.

In the Appleton case, Bell says the district attorney should hold an inquest, in which a jury would determine whether the shooting was justified.