DOJ still investigating four Madison-area shootings. In three of them, they haven’t named the officers

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has not named the officers involved in three out of four ongoing investigations into Madison-area police shootings in the last four months, unlike the majority of shootings and other critical incidents they’ve investigated in the last two years.

Last year, in 7 out of 8 completed investigations into officer “critical incidents” listed on their web page, the officers involved were named within 5 to 8 days of the incident. The exception was a shooting that involved an off-duty, undercover Racine County deputy.

In 2020, officers were named in 10 out of 13 completed investigations–most of them within 10 days of the initial incident. (Twelve officer critical incident investigations are listed in 2020; the thirteenth was the shooting of Jacob Blake, the records of which are no longer listed on the DOJ’s website.)

Under a state law passed in 2014, law enforcement agencies who are involved in a death are required to have an outside agency investigate what happened. The DOJ is frequently the agency asked to complete these investigations, and it is customary for officers to be put on paid administrative leave until the investigations are completed. Often, the DOJ will at least release the names of officers to the public soon after taking over the investigation.

The agency has yet to complete their investigations into four Dane County law enforcement shootings, dating back to last October:

October 10: Madison police shooting

Eight days after a Madison police officer accidentally shot another police officer when arresting Katoine Richardson on State Street, the DOJ released the officer’s identity.

This came after initial press releases failed to clearly state what had happening, saying that a Madison police officer had been shot while arresting a person with a gun.

After 122 days, the DOJ’s investigation into the incident remains open; Richardson is facing multiple charges from the arrest.

October 23: Dane County Sheriff’s Office shooting

The DOJ and Dane County Sheriff’s Office have said little about an incident at Festge Park on October 23, when a deputy fired their gun and said they had been stabbed. The search for a suspect was called off and no one was ever found, and the DOJ took over the investigation–as is customary for shootings involving police in Wisconsin.

Now 109 days since the incident, repeated requests for records and more information about the incident have been denied, citing the ongoing investigation.

Unlike the majority of other DOJ-led investigations over the last two years, the deputy has not been named. In early December, the DCSO told News 3 that they expected the investigation would be completed within a week.

November 28: Madison police shooting

The DOJ is still investigating a shooting on November 28 on Secret Garden Lane, when a Madison police officer fired his gun, and an armed suicidal person then turned their own gun on themselves.

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Now 73 days since the incident happened, the DOJ has not named the officer who fired their gun, unlike the majority of other DOJ-led shooting investigations over the last two years.

January 11: Madison police shooting

Nearly a month after it happened, the DOJ has yet to name the officers who fired their guns during an armed robbery investigation. Police say an armed person jumped off a balcony and fired at officers, causing several officers to shoot the person, leaving them in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A DOJ spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on why the DOJ has not released the identities of the officers involved in three of these shootings.