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Bill seeking state review of deaths in police custody won't be taken up Thursday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Assembly has a marathon session set for Thursday -- but one bill that won't be considered is a state review of deaths in police custody. 

It was introduced a few weeks ago, but it has not been scheduled for a public hearing. 

Michael Bell of Kenosha, who lost his son in a police shooting nine years ago, has tried in vain to make police more accountable for their shooting incidents. Now, Bell is advertising on USA Today to urge lawmakers to take up the new measure -- and he plans an online petition next week on Change.Org. 

The bill would set standards for outside agencies to review deaths of those in custody. A state panel study all incidents and make decisions on whether they were justified. Local prosecutors would also get those reports to consider whether or not to file charges. 

Right now, Assembly GOP Criminal Justice chairman Garey Bies says larger police agencies investigate their own officers, while the state Justice Department or neighboring agencies fill the role in smaller places. 

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has opposed the bill. He says it's, "unnecessary, unworkable, and an expansion of government's already too burdensome bureaucracy."

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