Friends and family of people killed by Wisconsin police yesterday urged members of the state legislature to stop allowing police to investigate their own police-custody deaths.
Mother Sonya Moore spoke at the hearing on behalf of her son, Derek Williams, a black man who died in 2011 after begging for help and gasping for air in the back of a squad car. Police shot Michael Bell, a white man, point-blank in the head in his driveway in 2004. In these cases and at least one other, according to the Journal Sentinel, investigators from the respective departments “quickly cleared” the officers.
If passed, the new law would make Wisconsin the first state in the country to require independent review whenever anyone dies in a police confrontation.