Madison
55° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Lawmaker wants mandate for officer-involved shooting investigations

Published On: Feb 19 2013 03:18:09 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 20 2013 08:12:58 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says he's open to considering a new procedure for investigating officer-involved shootings.

Soglin answered questions from WISC-TV for the first time Tuesday about the investigation into a November shooting death at the hands of a Madison police officer.

His comments came as a Republican state lawmaker starts a legislative effort to take investigative power away from an involved officer's department after a shooting.

Soglin called a news conference to "correct misconceptions perpetuated in a recent news report," according to a release from the mayor’s office.

WISC-TV aired a story Monday about procedures used in Knoxville, Tenn. to review police shootings. Soglin declined comment in the story in an on-camera interview Monday.

In a phone call with WISC-TV later, he reiterated an earlier press release saying he was "receptive" to independent reviews when it came to other law enforcement agencies conducting investigations.

Soglin said Tuesday he was open to changes to the procedures for reviewing police shootings as long as they were allowed under state statutes.

"I said that I would comment when the three pending investigations are completed. That was not accurately portrayed in the newscast," Soglin said.

Officer Stephen Heimsness is the subject of three internal investigations of conduct that occurred before his involvement in the Nov. 9 shooting of Paul Heenan, according to the police department.

Heimsness was cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting, and Chief Noble Wray has said the additional probes are not related to the shooting.

Soglin declined to reveal why the three pending investigations are keeping him from commenting.

He would not say whether he supported a review panel such as the one Knoxville uses, and said he didn't know enough to comment about the legislative efforts of Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay.

Bies said he is working on a bill to be introduced this fall that would create a statewide mandate for how officer-involved shootings are investigated.

"I think the perception thing comes in, especially when you have one agency investigating themselves," said Bies, a 30-year veteran of the Door County Sheriff's Department. "You've got to have some independence."

Amelia and Nathan Royko Maurer, Paul Heenan's former roommates, said they will continue to fight to have police reopen their friend's case.

They said the Heenan case and all other police shootings should get independent review, even if it takes an effort at the Capitol to make it happen.

"If there wasn't a problem, there'd be no reason to change the state statutes," Amelia Royko Maurer said. "(Police) know that, the mayor knows that, we know that, so we're not going to stop."

Wray has repeatedly said he's open to options on how to handle investigations in the future, although he's said the Heenan case doesn't need further review.

Advertisement
  • Marysville Pilchuck school shooting 4

    KOMO

    2 dead in school shooting near Seattle, sources say

    A school shooting has been reported at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers

    Karimala/iStock

    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement