Legislators want increased police training
Proposal prompted by suspect death
MILWAUKEE — The death of a suspect who was in the custody of Milwaukee police has prompted some state lawmakers to call for new training standards for officers.
Derek Williams died in July 2011 after struggling to breathe in the back of a squad car. The Milwaukee County medical examiner recently changed the manner of Williams’ death from natural to homicide following an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor, of Milwaukee, and Republican Rep. Garey Bies, of Sister Bay, plan to reintroduce bipartisan legislation that would mandate new training and education standards for police officers. Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert, of Neenah, said he supports additional training as well.
Officers would be required to be trained in “cultural differences, mental health and physical health conditions that can affect behavior and arrest and pursuit procedures.” The bill was initially introduced in 2009.