The discussion of how to investigate police officer-involved deaths in Wisconsin is difficult, sensitive and important. And we’ve been impressed with the willingness of all involved to listen to each and try to understand different perspectives. Clearly, there are strong feelings and emotions from both family and friends of people killed by police officers and by the officers themselves who are forced to make one of the toughest decisions they can be called upon to make. Here in Madison the Paul Heenan case is the most recent and poignant example. This editorial board has called for more independence in such investigations using a model in Knoxville, Tennessee reported on by WISC News as an example.
Last week the state Assembly passed a bipartisan bill that would make Wisconsin the first state in the nation to adopt an independent investigation framework for officer-involved shootings. It’s a compromise, but it is in the words of one advocate for change a positive and workable step forward. We’ll take it. And again we express our appreciation to everyone who has worked so hard on this issue.