Madison
73° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
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
  • iOS 8

    From Apple

    Best new Apple iOS 8 features

    Apple's iOS 8 is here, and it's packed with slick new features. Take a look at some of the best changes to the latest version of the popular mobile operating system.

  • Testing for Ebola

    REUTERS/Misha Hussain

    Common myths about Ebola

    At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered in a remote village in Guinea in a brutal example of growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis. Take a look at common myths about the deadly virus.

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.

  • C3K-EVENTS

    Events calendar

    Looking for something to do? Visit Channel 3000's events section featuring dining, food, music and family-friendly events throughout Madison and the surrounding area.

  • Get your weather app

    Channel3000.com and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.

Advertisement